Tritons Heading Back to National Collegiate Water Polo Championship
INDIANAPOLIS — The University of California San Diego men’s water polo team has qualified for the 2018 National Collegiate Water Polo Championship, beginning Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. at Avery Aquatic Center in Stanford, Calif.
UC San Diego (19-5) will take on the winner of an NCAA Opening-Round contest between Long Beach State (13-11) and Pomona-Pitzer (23-8). The Tritons join UCLA (22-4), Stanford (20-2) and top-seed USC (28-3) as teams drawing at least one opening-round bye in the national tournament.
UC San Diego and UCLA have both automatically advanced to the quarterfinals, while Stanford and USC begin play in the semifinals on Dec. 1. The Tritons would face host Stanford with a victory in the quarterfinal.
The Tritons earned an automatic-qualifying berth by defeating UC Davis in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championship final, 11-10, on Nov. 18. UC San Diego previously made the NCAA tournament in 2015.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jack Turner earned WWPA Tournament MVP honors after recording 15 saves in the victory over UC Davis. Redshirt junior Kacper Langiewicz and sophomore Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt joined Turner on the All-Tournament First Team, while redshirt sophomore Calder Hilde-Jones was named to the Second Team.
UC San Diego has won seven-consecutive games and nine of its last 10 overall. The Tritons have won 12 contests this season against opponents ranked in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Top 20, including a victory over then-No. 7-ranked Long Beach State on Sept. 19.
In the process, UC San Diego had five players receive All-WWPA accolades. Turner, Turnbow-Lindenstadt and junior Skyler Munatones were named to the First Team, Langiewicz landed on the Second Team and Konstantin Karlov made the All-Freshman Team.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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