Men's Water Polo Opens NorCal Tournament With Win, Loss
Sept. 15, 2012
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The #8 Pepperdine men's water polo team assured itself of a top-half finish at the NorCal Tournament with a 10-8 victory over #9 Long Beach State in its opening game on Saturday, but couldn't get past #1 USC in a 9-4 quarterfinal loss later in the day.
The Waves (4-1), who will finish between fifth and eighth depending on their next two results, will now face #5 UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at 8 a.m. at Stanford's Avery Pool. Their final game will be against either #6 UC Irvine or #7 Pacific on Sunday afternoon.
"I was very pleased with our win against Long Beach," Pepperdine interim co-head coach William Rodriguez said. "It definitely showed our strengths and how deep we are. Our veterans, our seniors, did a great job. Against USC, even though we lost, we played great defense and cut the margin that we lost by in an exhibition two weeks ago by six goals, so we're seeing improvement over the last two weeks and that's great. We beat UC Santa Barbara in an exhibition two weeks ago and so we'll try to do it again tomorrow and improve our ranking."
Junior goalie Bence Valics (Eger, Hungary) was credited with a remarkable 21 saves in the win against the 49ers, and then added 11 more to keep things close against the Trojans.
"Bence had an amazing day, and he kept us in the game against USC," Rodriguez said.
Senior attacker Stephen Loomis (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo HS) was the top scorer on the day for the Waves, as he netted two goals in both contests.
The Waves jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first quarter against LBSU and never trailed in the game. It was Pepperdine's eighth win in the last 11 meetings against Long Beach State. The Trojans came into the day's second game averaging 20 goals per contest and were held to a single-digit total for the first time this season.
PEP Goals: Carroll 2, Cooper 2, DeTrane 2, Hamby 2, Loomis 2.
LBSU Goals: White 3, Kappos 2, McConnell 2, Vrzic 1.
Goalie Saves: Valics (PEP) 21; Meszaros (LBSU) 11.