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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Sunbirds squawk on Aggie Senior Day


Men’s water polo defeats Fresno Pacific 21-7 in final home game.

The UC Davis men’s water polo team took to the pool in their final home game of the season against Fresno Pacific University on Oct. 30. With a key 21-7 victory, the Aggies remain undefeated in conference play.

“It’s great to be in this position,” Head Coach Daniel Leyson said. “We’re happy to be where we are, but we also expect to be here.”

The night was also important because it marked the last home game for five seniors, and was a “bittersweet moment” according to senior utility Sean Grab.

“This is the culmination of being a life aquatic,” senior goalkeeper Nico Chapman said. “I wouldn’t have rather done this with any other group of guys.”


Grab and Chapman were joined by classmates Wes Lincoln, Evan MacCarthy, and Austin Beckwith.

“This senior class is one of the most close knit classes we’ve had, even though we’ve only been together for two years,” MacCarthy said. “We have something really special going on. We’re much bigger than teammates inside the water; we are great friends and family outside the water.”

The first period of competition showed the strength of the Aggies and all the time and energy they have put into the game. Coming out of the gates hard, an aggressive offense kept the ball deep into Fresno Pacific territory. However, the aggression did not pay off until junior utility Lyle Kipp’s skip shot for the first goal of the game.

Kipp was joined on the board by Beckwith who scored a point, and two goals by freshman Ido Goldschmidt closed out the first period 4-3.

The second period saw the Aggies pull away with a massive lead. MacCarthy, junior two-meter Jacob Ley, redshirt freshman Riley Venne, freshman utility Sasa Antunovic, Grab and Goldschmidt all added points to the board. Throughout this period, the Sunbird offense was completely locked down. In two instances, Antunovic reached high and intercepted passes leading to the aforementioned goals. The Aggies’ defense held the Sunbirds to 10-3 at the end of the first half.

The third period opened up with a goal by redshirt freshman Nick Coufal. Shortly thereafter, Beckwith added another point to his name and redshirt freshman Brock Gordon joined the other Aggies with a goal of his own.

As Chapman came in for sophomore goalie Spencer Creed, the Sunbirds ramped up their offense. The two teams traded goals until the end of the period, with redshirt freshman Marcus Anderson, Ley and Grab each adding points to the board to end the period 16-6.

The Sunbirds kept up their offense at the start of the fourth period, but the wall that was Chapman stood tall and rebuked their assault. It was not until the second power play for the Sunbirds that they were able to pierce the Aggie defense. This was the last goal the Sunbirds would score, while the Aggies would go on to score five more times.

Sophomore Spencer Galli, Grab and Gordon all added to the overall score by one each, while Anderson added two.

The game ended 21-7, a victory for the Aggies.

The Aggies face two challenging away games to close out their conference play on Nov. 5 and Nov. 7.


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