No. 6 Waves Earn Split on First Day of NorCal Tournament
Sept. 17, 2011
STOCKTON, Calif. - The No. 6 Pepperdine men's water polo team earned a split in the first day of the NorCal Tournament on Saturday. The Waves defeated No. 11 UC Davis, 14-10 in their first game of the day, advancing to face No. 2 California. Against Cal, the Waves played excellent defense in the final quarter and netted two goals, nearly upsetting the Bears, but falling 8-7.
On the scoring front, the Waves were led by redshirt senior Andrew Milcovich (Walnut Creek, Calif./De La Salle HS) who netted five goals over both games and senior Nathan Castillo (Newport Beach, Calif./Golden West College/Newport Harbor HS) who scored five goals, a career-high, against UC Davis. Sophomore Bence Valics(Eger, Hungary/Szilagyi Erzsebet Secondary) was steady for the Waves between the post, with 15 saves in the win over the Aggies and 11 in the near upset of the Bears.
In the morning game against the Aggies, the Waves started off with a 4-2 advantage after quarter one, with junior Spencer Hamby (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) starting off the scoring. Stephen Loomis (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo HS), the team's leading scorer heading into the weekend also netted a goal in the first quarter.
The Waves let the Aggies back into the game in the second quarter, as the Aggies netted five goals to the Waves' four, bringing them within one at 8-7. Castillo netted two of his five goals in the second quarter.
In the third and fourth quarters, the Waves shored up their defense, allowing only three goals and scoring six of their own to take the game, 14-10. Valics played a phenomenal game in the cage, registering 15 saves, nine of those coming in the final two quarters.
With the win, the Waves advanced to play the winner of the No. 2 California vs. Vanguard matchup. The Bears defeated Vanguard, 27-3 and the Waves were set to face a fellow MPSF opponent for the first time this season.
The first two quarters of the afternoon matchup with the Bears proved to be a low-scoring affair, with the Bears netting five goals to the Waves' three.
In the third quarter, the Bears extended their lead to three at 8-5 going into the final stanza.
The Waves picked up the defensive intensity in the final quarter, holding the Bears scoreless in the final eight minutes of play and tallying two goals of their own from Loomis and Matthew DeTrane(Moraga, Calif./Diablo Valley College/Campolindo HS) to give the Waves a chance at the game-tying goal with 4:22 left to play. Unfortunately the Waves were unable to find the back of the net and narrowly missed a potential upset, falling 8-7 to the Bears.
Milcovich and Danny White (Oxnard, Calif./Rio Mesa HS) led the team with two goals apiece in the loss and Valics made 11 saves.
The Waves are set to face No. 8 UC Santa Barbara at 9:20 a.m. on Sunday at University of the Pacific's Chris Kjeldsen Pool for their first match of day two action. The Gauchos split their two games on Saturday as well, defeating Concordia 10-7, but falling to UCLA 13-10.
No. 6 Pepperdine 14, No. 11 UC Davis 10
No. 2 California 8, No. 6 Pepperdine 7