54.3 F
Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Men’s water polo seeks conference championship

Event: Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships

Where: Schaal Aquatic Center — Davis, Calif.

When: Friday Nov. 22, Saturday Nov. 23, Sunday Nov. 24

Who To Watch:

Senior attacker Bernie Rogers was awarded the Western Water Polo Association Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. This is the third Player of the Week award for Rogers this season.

In the two games played over the final weekend of the regular season, Rogers totaled five goals, four assists and four steals. Both performances spurred the Aggies to wins against Santa Clara and Air Force. The win against Santa Clara gave the Aggies the top overall seed in the 2013 WWPA Championships.

Rogers managed a hat trick with three assists in the victory against No. 16 Santa Clara, which clinched the league’s top seed. In the game against Air Force he scored two more goals to finish off the regular season with a flourish.

Did You Know:

In last year’s WWPA Championships the Aggies were the fourth seed in the tournament and also finished in fourth place. They won their opening game against Santa Clara 6-5 before losing in the semifinals to the top overall team UC San Diego 11-9. In the third place game the Aggies fell to Loyola Marymount 12-7.

Preview:

This year the WWPA Championships are being held in Davis at the UC Davis Schaal Aquatics Center from Nov. 22 through Nov. 24. The format has been switched from an eight team tournament to a six team competition. This gives the top two teams an opening round bye, thus advancing the Aggies into the semifinals automatically.

Right behind the top-ranked Aggies is the second seed UC San Diego, who also receives the crucial first round bye. The third seed is Santa Clara, with LMU standing at fourth. Rounding out the tournament is Air Force in the fifth position and Cal Baptist as the sixth seeded team.

LMU will open the tournament against Air Force at 12:15 p.m. on Nov. 22, followed by Santa Clara and Cal Baptist scheduled for a 2 p.m. start time. The Aggies will play the lowest advancing seed on Nov. 23 at 12:15 p.m. while UCSD plays the highest advancing seed at 2 p.m.

Nov. 24 will showcase the fifth place game at 10:30 a.m. between the two defeated teams of the opening round, followed by the third place game at 12:15 p.m. which pits the two semifinalists against each other. The championship game will take place at 2 p.m. and features the two undefeated teams vying for not only the tournament title, but also the conference’s automatic bid to play in the National Collegiate Championships on Dec. 7.

The Aggies went 5-0 in conference play this season so they are primed to make run all the way to nationals. UCSD, who was ranked tenth nationally in the Nov. 6 coaches’ poll, is the only potential roadblock between UC Davis and a conference title. The Aggies have defeated UCSD twice this year already though, in Irvine by a score of 12-10, and also in La Jolla 12-11. This should give the Aggies a huge surge of confidence that, having beaten UCSD on the road, they should be able to triumph as well here in Davis.

— Vic Anderson

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here