vs. No. 1 California (6-0, 0-0 MPSF)
Saturday, Sept. 16 • 1:00 p.m.
Spieker Aquatic Center • Berkeley
This week, thirteenth-ranked UC San Diego (2-5, 1-0) takes a trip to Northern California for two games against some familiar faces. The Tritons begin the trip Thursday, September 14 against Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) rival Fresno Pacific at 1 p.m. PT with hopes to pick up their second WWPA win of the season. UCSD is then set for a rematch with reigning national champion, first-ranked, Cal, in Berkeley Saturday, September 16 at 1 p.m. PT The Tritons faced the Bears at the Triton Invitational two weeks ago, dropping a 12-7 decision.
UC San Diego vs. Cal will be a family affair for sophomore Noah Carniglia as he will square off against his older brother senior Nic Carniglia in Berkeley. Noah has scored six goals this season for the Tritons while his brother
UCSD got off to a good start last weekend, winning its first WWPA match of the season against Concordia Irvine. The Tritons used a strong second half to secure a 17-11 victory. Freshman Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt led UCSD with five goals, also a career-high. In Malibu, UCSD faced two Golden Coast Conference opponents in No. 11 UC Irvine and No. 8 Pepperdine. Despite early leads, the Tritons fell in both contests, dropping to UCI by a score of 12-7 and Pepperdine, 12-9.
Three Tritons have combined for four
Cooper Milton (1)
9/2 vs. California (three goals)
Connor Turnbow-Lindenstadt (2)
9/2 vs. Chapman (three goals)
9/8 vs. Concordia Irvine (five goals)
9/9 vs. Pepperdine (three goals)
Arman Momdzhyan (1)
9/8 vs. Concordia Irvine (four goals)
9/9 vs. UC Irvine (three goals)
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.
For the latest in Triton athletic gear, make sure to visit ucsdtritonsgear.com. Run by UCSD Athletics' online partner Advanced-Online, the site provides an on-demand option for Triton athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours.
FOR THE YOUNGER CROWD
Got some young Triton fans in your family? If they are eighth grade or under, check out the Junior Triton Club. Membership includes a free t-shirt, admission to over 100 UCSD home athletic events, and much more!
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UC San Diego will compete in the MPSF Invitational September 22-24. The Tritons play a total of four games over the three-day tournament. In its first game, UCSD is set to play No. 5 Pacific Friday, September 22 at 4:00 p.m. The remaining three games are yet to be determined. For the full schedule click here.