No. 20 Air Force
Friday, Oct. 25 • 6 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatics Center • La Jolla
CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
With October being recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, UC San Diego stands to promote cancer awareness and help in the fight against it. The Tritons will have an honorary coach on the sidelines in recognition of children's cancer research and awareness.
TRITONS ROCK HUNGER
The Triton Athletes' Council is joining with other campus organizations to collect canned goods and other non-perishable food items this week. Items collected will be donated to the San Diego Food Bank. Red barrels will be located at Canyonview Pool, Triton Soccer Stadium and RIMAC Arena during this week's home events, as well as the main RIMAC lobby, and all fans are invited to join in the Tritons Rock Hunger effort.
Don’t miss your chance to grab your team poster of the UCSD men’s water polo squad this Friday at the entrance gate. The free poster is sponsored by UCSD Dining Services and Pepsi, and will be available at all remaining home water polo matches.
Cameron Ravanbach was named the Kap7/Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Co-Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 7-13. Trevor Allen of UC Davis also earned the weekly honor. The award is the second of his career, previously being honored on Oct. 24, 2012 after recording a career-high 19 stops against Loyola Marymount last season. Ravanbach is the second Triton to be honored in 2013, following Joe Dietrich back on Oct. 2. The junior goalkeeper led UCSD to three wins in five matches on the weekend. He amassed 50 total saves in the cage, including nine blocks and an assist in a 9-8 win over WWPA foe No. 17 California Baptist. The victory improved UCSD’s record to 2-0 in conference play. Ravanbach followed with 23 saves in two wins at the SoCal Tournament, highlighted by a 15-save performance in a win over No. 13 LMU, 9-7. He also guided the Tritons to a 15-4 victory over Pomona-Pitzer, holding the Sagehens scoreless in the first half while stopping eight shots. He provided eight steals in the two wins as well. The La Jolla native also totaled 14 blocks in a setback against No. 5 Cal at the SoCal Tournament.
After competing in five games in three days, the Tritons welcomed a week off to rejuvenate for the final third of the season. UCSD will play its final three matches in WWPA action against No. 20 Air Force, No. 16 Santa Clara and No. 11 UC Davis, before playing the final two games of the season versus No. 7 Long Beach State and No. 8 UC Irvine. The conference outcomes will determine where the Tritons will be seeded at the WWPA Championships in Davis on Nov. 22-24. The winner of the WWPA championship will receive the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championship in Palo Alto, hosted by Stanford on Dec. 7-8.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Tritons sit at 10-10 overall and 2-0 in the WWPA in its 2013 campaign. UCSD is currently leading the conference with two wins, while Air Force and UC Davis sit in second at 1-0 in league play. Overall, the Tritons' boast a well-balanced offensive attack, highlighted by five players that have totaled double-digits in goals, assists and steals in 2013: Chase Cockerill (19g, 32a, 37s), Dietrich (29g, 20a, 18s), Jeffrey Jarvis (25g, 15a, 15s), Luca De Vivo (13g, 19a, 49s) and David Higginson (25g, 27a, 16s). Tommy Friedrich leads the Tritons in scoring with 35 goals. Cockerill leads the team in assists with 32 and De Vivo has grabbed the most steals with 49. UCSD also possesses six players with 10 or more ejections drawn, led by Matt Michalko with 31.
Head coach Denny Harper managed his 1,000th career game on Sept. 21 … Ravanbach sits at 450 career saves. The junior from La Jolla HS entered UCSD’s top 10 all-time career saves list at No. 9, passing assistant coach Glenn Busch’s (1997-00) mark of 371 in the process … Ravanbach currently leads the WWPA in saves with 192 on the year … De Vivo is approaching the single season top-10 ranks in steals (49), needing four to crack the list (53) … His mark of 49 thefts leads the conference … Cockerill sits 13 assists away from cracking the single-season top-10 list … His 32 helpers leads the WWPA … The Tritons don’t sport a single senior on its roster, yet have seven freshman … Seven different players have tallied their first career goals as Tritons: Daniel Straub (3), Bryan Lee (3), Connor Watson (5), Andy Moore (3), Nick Alexander (3) and De Vivo (13) … Daniel Schwartz made his Triton debut in goal in 2013, and has totaled 16 saves on the year … UCSD has created 114 counter attack opportunities, while the opponent has only created 79 against the Tritons … UCSD is outscoring opponents 62-43 in the third period overall … UCSD has five players with local ties: Ravanbach (La Jolla/La Jolla HS), Straub (San Diego/Patrick Henry HS), Friedrich (Carlsbad/Carlsbad HS), Michalko (San Diego/The Bishop’s School) and Higginson (San Diego/The Bishop’s School).
HEAD COACH DENNY HARPER
Harper is in his 34th season leading the Tritons. He has compiled a career record of 581-426-4, with a winning percentage of .583. Harper has led the Tritons to 15 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) titles and 11 appearances in the NCAA national championships. He has been named WWPA Coach of the Year 16 times and the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPA) Division II Coach of the Year five times. During the 2006 season, the Tritons set a program record in wins, completing a 26-6 season with their 14th WWPA title and a third-place finish at the NCAA National Championship tournament. Harper, a 1978 graduate of San Diego State University, began coaching at Rancho Alamitos High School, Indio High School and SDSU before coming to UCSD.
WHAT THE COACHES THINK
Loyola Marymount was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the WWPA after receiving three first-place votes, finishing ahead of previous WWPA champions Air Force (2012) and UCSD (2011) by two points. Defending champion Air Force came in tied for second alongside the Tritons. The Falcons received two first-place votes, while UCSD grabbed the final first-place vote. UC Davis was predicted to finish fourth, Santa Clara was voted fifth and newcomer California Baptist was picked sixth to round out the conference.
ABOUT THE FALCONS
Air Force currently sits at 5-9 overall and 1-0 in the WWPA. The Falcons will be making their second trip to La Jolla in 2013, after competing in the Triton Invitational at the beginning of the year. Air Force struggled at the start of its 2013 campaign, losing for times at the invitational, and eventually falling in the first seven matches of the year. The Falcons countered the slow start by winning five of the last seven games, only falling to No. 18 California Baptist, 9-7, and No. 9 Pepperdine, 12-7. Air Force is powered by senior Josh Stedman, who was just named WWPA player of the week after scoring seven goals and recording two assists in three games last week. He currently ranks 11th on Air Force’s career scoring list with 233 points (169 goals, 24 assists). His 26 goals in 2013 is 14 more than any other Falcon on the roster. AFA also received a boost last week from senior captain Max Reilly, who returned from an injury to record three scores and four helpers in his first action of 2013. On the defensive side, sophomore Caleb Guarino has blocked 131 shots in the cage. Head coach Jeff Heidmous, who is in his 21st season, leads the Falcons.
UCSD holds a 58-14 all-time series record against Air Force. Friday’s game marks the second time the teams have clashed in 2013. The Tritons notched a win on Sept. 22 at the NorCal Tournament, a game UCSD jumped out 8-1 at halftime before winning, 15-7. Higginson and Michalko scored three goals apiece in the victory to lead the Tritons, while Ravanbach recorded eight saves in the cage. The Falcons last beat UCSD in the WWPA Championship last season after the Tritons had beaten AFA the previous three meetings of 2012. The win marked the third WWPA conference title and first since 1994 for Air Force.
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THE BIG PICTURE
We want to reward you for posting your creative photos. Tweet and Instagram your pictures from any UCSD Athletics event and include our #TritonsRising hashtag. At the end of every month, we'll pick our favorite photos and dole out some swag to the winners!
UCSD concludes conference play next week, facing No. 16 Santa Clara and No. 11 UC Davis. The Tritons will take on the Broncos on Friday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. before playing the Aggies on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m.