SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The 14th-ranked and second-seeded University of California San Diego men’s water polo team defeated seventh-seeded Fresno Friday by a final score of 17-10 in the first round of the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championship, Friday at Sullivan Aquatic Center. The Tritons advance to the WWPA Championship semifinal on Saturday with the win.
UCSD improves its overall record to 14-7 on the year. The Sunbirds drop to 9-19.
Junior Arman Momdzhyan and freshman Skyler Munatones led the Tritons with four goals each. Freshman Cooper Milton, senior Nassim Hmeidan and sophomore Thomas Higginson pitched in two each. Sophomore goalie Jack Turner had five saves in three quarters. Junior goalie Oleg Koujikov came in relief for Turner in the fourth and had two saves.
David Maes was FPU’s leading scorer with a game-high six goals.
UCSD led 3-1 at the end of the first quarter thanks to scores from Momdzhyan, Higginson and Munatones.
The Tritons started pulling away in the second, finding the back of the cage six times, including a five-meter penalty shot converted by Momdzhyan. UCSD led 9-3 at halftime.
The Tritons put away six more goals in the third quarter, including three on consecutive possessions with Momdzhyan scoring from the post and a lob shot on a counter attack and a five-meter penalty from Munatones. FPU had three goals in the period as UCSD led 15-6 going into the final frame.
The Tritons were outscored 4-2 in the fourth as the Sunbirds tried to mount a comeback. The margin was insurmountable as UCSD triumphed by seven scores.
The Tritons will face third-seeded Loyola Marymount in the semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m.
UC San Diego 17, Fresno Pacific 10
UCSD 3 6 6 2 - 17
FPU 1 2 3 4 - 10
FPU: David Maes 6, Steven Kaufmann 1, Jacob Fairchild 1, Erik Brown 1, Taylor Heckathorn 1