No. 12 UC San Diego Hosts No. 9 UC Davis Saturday Looking to Capture WWPA Regular-Season Crown
LET ME IN!
UCSD students are admitted free of charge to any home event. For other fans, tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the door at Canyonview Aquatics Center.
WATCH IT LIVE
You can watch this week’s game live online featuring Ted Mendenhall on the call for $5.99. To watch the game, click here.
UCSD NATIONAL RANKINGS
For full rankings click here.
• Preseason: No. 12
• Sept. 6: No. 13
• Sept. 13: No. 13
• Sept. 20: No. 13
• Sept. 27: No. 13
• Oct. 4: No. 12
• Oct. 11: No. 12
• Oct. 18: No. 13
• Oct. 25: No. 13
• Nov. 1: No. 12
• Overall: 9-11
• WWPA: 6-0
• Home: 4-3
• Road: 4-4
• Neutral: 1-4
• Against Ranked Teams: 4-12
• Current Streak: Won 2
ALL-TIME AGAINST THE AGGIES
UC San Diego holds a 47-19 advantage in the all-time series against UC Davis. This season, the Tritons dropped two games to the Aggies, including an 11-5 loss at the Triton Invitational and an 18-8 defeat at the MPSF Invitational. The two teams met in last year's WWPA Championship Game which resulted in UC Davis earning a 12-8 victory and the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
Prior to the start of Saturday's game, the UC San Diego athletic department and the Triton men's water polo team will recognize two outstanding senior members of this year's team as Oleg Koujikov and Arman Momdzhyan will be playing in their final regular-season home contest. Koujikov and Momdzhyan both transferred to UCSD prior to the start of the 2016 season.
ALL ON THE LINE
Both UC San Diego and UC Davis enter the weekend with perfect 6-0 records in conference play. The winner of Saturday's contest will earn the WWPA regular-season title as well as the first-seed in the WWPA Tournament. The loser will be the No. 2 seed at the championships.
UC San Diego remained perfect in WWPA play after defeating Santa Clara by a score of 13-9. Senior Arman Momdzhyan led the Tritons with four goals, including two in the second quarter that gave UCSD a lead it would not relinquish.
(as of Nov. 3)
1. UC San Diego, 6-0
1. UC Davis, 6-0
3. Concordia, 3-2
4. California Baptist, 3-3
5. Loyola Marymount, 2-3
6. Santa Clara, 1-4
7. Air Force, 1-4
8. Fresno Pacific, 0-5
Four Tritons have combined for 21 hat tricks:
Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt (8)
9/2 vs. Chapman (three goals)
9/8 vs. Concordia Irvine (five goals)
9/9 vs. Pepperdine (three goals)
9/16 vs. California (six goals)
9/23 vs. UC Davis (four goals)
9/24 vs. Princeton (four goals)
10/12 vs. California Baptist (three goals)
10/18 vs. Long Beach State (four goals)
Arman Momdzhyan (10)
9/8 vs. Concordia Irvine (four goals)
9/9 vs. UC Irvine (three goals)
9/14 vs. Fresno Pacific (six goals)
9/23 vs. Loyola Marymount (four goals)
9/24 vs. Princeton (four goals)
9/27 vs. Loyola Marymount (three goals)
10/6 vs. Loyola Marymount (five goals)
10/12 vs. California Baptist (three goals)
10/20 vs. Air Force (four goals)
10/26 vs. Santa Clara (four goals)
8. Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt, 60
3. Sam Thompson, 171
T-5. Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt, 29
MOMDZHYAN EARNS MULTIPLE WWPA PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Senior utility Arman Momdzhyan was named the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 11 and the week of Nov. 2.
His first weekly award came after he scored a game-high five goals to lead No. 12 UC San Diego to a 12-8 win over league-rival Loyola Marymount. The victory was UCSD’s third of the season against LMU and its third-straight in conference play.
His tallied his second WWPA honor after scoring four goals, leading UCSD to a 13-9 victory over Santa Clara. With the win, UCSD extended its undfeated conference record to six games.
HAT TRICK HERO
Senior Arman Momdzhyan has earned a hat trick in six of the last seven games, collecting a team-best 10 on the season. Momdzhyan is averaging three goals per games and leads UCSD with a total of 48.
Freshman Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt wasted no time making an immediate impact on the UCSD roster. The Newport Beach native is second on the roster in goals with 46 and leads the Tritons in steals (29). He has also compiled 13 assists and has scored three or more goals in eight games. On Sept. 16, Turnbow-Lindenstadt produced a career and game-high six goals against No. 1 Cal.
WWPA TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO LA JOLLA
UC San Diego will host the 2017 WWPA Tournament for the first time since 2011. The three-day tournament will take place November 17-19 at Canyonview Aquatic Center. Four games will be played all three days with the championship game slated for Sunday, Nov. 19. Game times are TBD.
GET TO KNOW THE TRITONS
Denny Harper, the 2016 Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) Division II and Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Coach of the Year began his 38th year at the helm when the men’s water polo team opened its 2017 schedule this weekend by hosting the Triton Invitational. UCSD is coming off a 15-8 season in which it reached the championship game of the WWPA tournament for the sixth year in a row.
The Tritons will have big shoes to fill with the departure of two-time All-American utility Nick Alexander, as well as all-conference utility Andy Moore. UCSD also graduated utility players in Jack Ellinthorpe and Nassim Hmeidan.
UCSD welcomes 11 newcomers, nine being freshmen, to the team and return 16 players including senior All-American utility Arman Momdzhyan (44 goals, 10 assists and 10 steals in 2016), sophomore utility Skyler Munatones (34 goals, 26 assists and 15 steals), junior utility Kevin Asplund (14 goals, 5 assists and 21 steals).
Twenty-six of the 27 Tritons on the roster are California natives, with the exception of junior Alessandro Valania, who hails from Savona, Italy. Local products include Kacper Langiewicz (San Marcos/Mission Hills HS), Rich Farley (Vista/Palomar College/Carlsbad HS), Cooper Milton (San Diego/Cathedral Catholic HS), Collin Sullivan (Escondido/San Pasqual HS), Jack Ranj (San Diego/Westview HS) and Konstantin Karlov (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS).
WHAT THE COACHES THINK
The 12th-ranked Tritons were picked to finish second in the WWPA by the league's head coaches.
2017 WWPA Men’s Water Polo Preseason Coaches' Poll
Institution (First-Place Votes), Points
1. No. 9 UC Davis (5), 47
2. No. 12 UC San Diego (3), 45
T-3. No. 17 Loyola Marymount, 34
T-3. No. 16 California Baptist, 34
5. RV Air Force, 23
6. RV Santa Clara, 21
7. Concordia, 12
8. Fresno Pacific, 8
Junior goalkeeper Jack Turner earned a spot on the USA Men's National Team roster for a four-game series in California against Croatia, June 9-14. Turner was also selected as one of two goalkeepers on the U.S. roster for the 2017 World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan, but was unable to go due to injury.
The Tritons are 29-12 in season openers since the inception of the program in 1977. At the Triton Invitational, UCSD collected its 29th season-opening win with a 14-1 victory over Chapman.
UCSD finished the 2016 season at 15-8 overall, highlighted by a runner-up performance in the WWPA Tournament. The Tritons, seeded second in the tournament with a 5-1 regular-season league record, defeated Fresno Pacific and Loyola Marymount to advance to the WWPA Championship game against UC Davis. UCSD battled with nationally-ranked No. 8 UC Davis but ultimately fell by a score of 12-8.
The Tritons beat seven teams ranked in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Top-20 poll throughout the course of the season.
HEAD COACH DENNY HARPER
UCSD head coach Denny Harper is in his 38th season leading the Tritons. He has compiled a career record of 631-464-4. An 18-time WWPA Coach of the Year and 14-time ACWPC National Coach of the Year honoree, Harper has led the Tritons to 18 WWPA titles and 14 appearances in the NCAA Championship. Last season, he was named the ACWPC Division II Coach of the Year, his sixth straight time earning that award.
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UC San Diego plays its final regular-season game on road agaisnt UC Irvine Wednesday, November 8 at 7:00 p.m. The Tritons will take a short break before hosting the 2017 WWPA Championships Nov. 17-19 at Canyonview Aquatic Center.