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Waves Complete Non-Conference Schedule This Weekend At Home


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Oct. 8, 2003

Summary: The third-ranked Pepperdine Waves (9-2) will host No. 8 UC Irvine (8-8) on Saturday and No. 6 UC San Diego (9-6) on Sunday at the Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool in Malibu. Both matches are scheduled to begin at noon.

This past weekend Pepperdine claimed third place at the highly competitive NorCal Tournament where they defeated top-ranked USC 9-7. Their only loss of the tournament came when they fell to No. 2 Stanford 10-9 despite leading most of the game. The majority of the Waves success is found in the net where they control the MPSF with a very low 6.36 GAA as a team.

Jesse Smith is leading Pepperdine in goals with 22 (2.0 GPG) while teammate Michael Hausmann slightly trails with 18 (1.63 GPG), respectively. Furthermore, Ben Tait is pacing his team with 84 saves on the season and he is leading the MPSF in team goalkeeping.

Scouting No. 9 UC Irvine: UCI placed seventh in the Northern California Tournament at Stanford over the weekend, defeating Long Beach State, 11-8, in the seventh-place game Sunday. The Anteaters opened the tournament Saturday with a 7-6 win over Loyola Marymount then lost to top-ranked USC 9-7. UCI lost to No. 6 UC San Diego 7-6 in the consolation semifinals Sunday before topping the 49ers, also ranked sixth, in the seventh-place contest. UCI entered the weekend ranked ninth in the nation.

Junior Rick Merlo scored eight goals in the tournament, two in each game. Junior Dan Noon added seven goals. Sophomore Nate White scored three goals in the win over Long Beach State as did senior Phil Garcia. Merlo and Noon added two goals apiece in that victory. Garcia had five goals and Noon four in a 17-5 win over Cal Baptist last Wednesday.

Scouting No. 6T UC San Diego: The UC San Diego men's water polo team, ranked sixth in the latest Men's National Collegiate Top 20 Poll, split its four games to finish sixth at the NorCal Tournament this weekend at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center.

Jonathan Hopkins' nine goals on the weekend increase his team-leading total to 34 on the season.

Head of the Class: The Waves have relied on a total offensive team effort to dethrone opponents thus far in the season. Smith is leading his squad with 22 goals followed by Hausmann (18), Josh Acosta (14), Garitt Barth (11), and Josh Keitel (10).

As a team, Pepperdine is ranked No. 3 in team points (10.18 GPG) and all five of the mentioned Waves are ranked as leaders of the MPSF with Smith coming in first at the No. 9 spot.

The Polls: Since starting out preseason ranked No. 5, the Waves have steadily risen and claimed the No. 3 spot in the country for the third week in a row.



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