Waves 2013 Season Preview - Part One
Sept. 12, 2013
THIS WEEK: Pepperdine travels to Los Angeles to take on ancient rival Loyola Marymount Saturday, September 14 in a Wells Fargo PCH Cup battle. Match time against the Lions is set for 12:00 p.m. at the Burns Center. The Waves swept the season series last year, taking an 8-7 win in Malibu and then a 12-7 decision in the SoCal Tournament. Pepperdine leads the all-time series 35-6, 5-3 when competing at LMU.
SEASON PREVIEW: PepperdineSports.com sat down with the Waves coaching staff to talk about the 2013 season in part one of two. Head coach Terry Schroeder, assistant coach Merrill Moses and director of operations Willo Rodriguez all played and starred for the Waves and recall their experiences in the first of a two-part feature. SEASON PREVIEW PART ONE
OPENING WEEKEND RECAP: Pepperdine opened the 2013 regular season with a pair of wins at the 2013 UCLA Invitational, posting a 14-8 victory against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and concluded play with a 26-4 triumph against La Verne. Redshirt sophomore Luke Hewko paced Pepperdine offensively with 10 goals and established career-highs with five-goal showings against the Stags and Leopards. Freshman Christian Bridley impressed in his collegiate debut and recorded six goals, including four against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Redshirt senior Danny White recorded a first-half hat trick against the Leopards and added a pair against the Stags. All told, 15 of 17 Waves that entered the water scored at least once. Goalkeeper Bence Valics coordinated a strong defensive effort and recorded 13 saves
RALEIGH RUNNELS POOL RENOVATED: Pepperdine's Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool underwent a massive renovation project during the spring and summer of 2013 which will ensure the host site for water polo in the 1984 Olympics will flourish in its fourth decade of service. A brand new video scoreboard was also installed and will make its debut when Pepperdine hosts its own invitational Saturday, October 5.
A LOOK AT THE BENCH: Head coach Terry Schroeder will work with some familiar faces on the bench for the 2013 campaign. Pepperdine All-American goalkeeper and 2012 interim co-head coach Merrill Moses, fresh off a stint as the starter for Team USA in the 2013 FINA Championship, will join Waves standout and 2012 interim co-head coach Willo Rodriguez, who will serve as the director of operations. Schroeder coached both Moses and Rodriguez during their time at Pepperdine.
STRONG BETWEEN THE PIPES: Senior All-American goalkeeper Bence Valics will stabilize Pepperdine defensively and turned in a career year as a junior. Valics ranked second among MPSF leaders in saves (11.71) and eighth in GAA (9.33). The Hungarian became the first Pepperdine goalkeeper to record back-to-back seasons with 200-plus saves since Waves Olympian and current assistant coach Merrill Moses accomplished the feat in three straight seasons from 1996-98. Valics collected 211 as a sophomore and corralled a career-high 281 in 2012.
RETURNING OFFENSIVELY: The Waves have some offensive question marks after losing three of their top four scorers from a year ago to graduation. Marko Madaras (Eger, Hungary/Golden West CC) scored 28 goals with 28 assists and Nick Cooper (Clayton, Calif./De La Salle HS) added 15 goals and seven assists are the top returning scorers for the Waves and will be counted on to elevate their games in 2013. One of the team's leading playmakers in 2012, Mike Tragitt (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) returns after recording 32 assists to go along with six goals and 10 steals. Danny White (Oxnard, Calif./Rio Mesa HS) returns after using a redshirt year and scored 23 goals as a junior in 2011.
WELCOME BACK: Pepperdine welcomes back some familiar faces that did not appearing in pool during the 2012 season. Danny White returns for his senior campaign and scored 23 goals as a junior in 2011 to go along with 16 assists and 16 steals. Sophomore Luke Hewko (Santa Ana, Calif./Servite HS) also comes back and scored 14 goals with four assists and nine steals, while appearing in every match as a true freshman in 2011. Jake Schrimpf (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) also returns for the Waves and scored 16 goals with 14 assists and 13 steals as a freshman in 2010.
WAVES IN THE POLLS: After spending the entire 2012 campaign in the top-10, Pepperdine continued the streak checking in at No. 8 in the CWPA Preseason Poll. The Waves captured 64 votes. Pepperdine was ranked as high as No. 4 last season. The Waves were tabbed to finish ninth in the 2013 MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll. 2013 CWPA Preseason Poll | 2013 MPSF Preseason Poll
WAVES BROADCAST IN CYBERSPACE: All of Pepperdine's home matches during the 2013 regular season will include live streaming video via WaveCasts on PepperdineSports.com. Live Twitter updates will be posted for all home matches @PeppWaterPolo.
PEPPERDINE ON THE PAC-12 NETWORK: Pepperdine's match at UCLA Friday, Sept. 27 will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network.