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Photo by: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications
No. 11 UCSD Begins 2013 with Triton Invitational
Release: Saturday 09/05/2013 
by UCSD

THE SCHEDULE
Match 1
Redlands
Saturday, Sept. 7 • 8 a.m.
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla
Triton Pool

Match 2
No. 4 Cal
Saturday, Sept. 7 • 4:30 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla
Triton Pool

Match 3
Cal Lutheran
Sunday, Sept. 8 • 8:30 a.m.
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla
Triton Pool

Match 4
No. 2 UCLA
Sunday, Sept. 8 • 4:30 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatic Center • La Jolla
Triton Pool

LET ME IN
UCSD students are admitted free of charge to the Triton Invitational. For others, day passes are $10 and may be purchased at Canyonview Aquatic Center. For a schedule of all games and directions to the venue, click here.

A STRONG FIELD
The Triton Invitational field features eight teams ranked in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) top 20 national poll, highlighted by No. 1 USC, the five-time defending NCAA champion. Also ranked are UCLA (2), Cal (4), Long Beach State (6), UCSD (11), Air Force (12), Loyola Marymount (13) and UC Davis (17). Cal Baptist, which received votes in the poll, Cal Lutheran and Redlands will also be competing in La Jolla. CLU is ranked fifth and Redlands is seventh in the Division III poll. Check out the preseason polls here.

GET TO KNOW THE 2013 TRITONS
Coach Denny Harper begins his 34th year at the helm when the men’s water polo team opens its 2013 schedule this weekend by hosting the Triton Invitational. UCSD, slotted at No. 11 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) preseason rankings, is coming off a 16-8 season. To check out the roster and read about the Tritons, click here.

LOOKING AT THE SCHEDULE
The Tritons' early season schedule is packed with competition, playing three teams ranked in the top five in the CWPA preseason rankings. UCSD will take on five-time defending NCAA champion No. 1 USC on Sept. 14, as well as NCAA runner-up No. 2 UCLA this Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Following the early nonconference slate, the Tritons will host two different homestands from Sept. 25-Oct. 4 and Oct. 25-Nov. 2 at Canyonview Aquatic Center.

GETTING DEFENSIVE
After finishing 12-2 in the WWPA conference a year ago, the Tritons earned the top seed in the conference tournament and reached the championship match before falling in a heartbreaker to Air Force 9-7. The Tritons fell one game short of reaching the NCAA Final Four after beating the Falcons three times during the regular season. With redemption on the mind of the 2013 Tritons, Harper returns a slew of veterans mixed in with young talent, highlighted by first team All-WWPA goalie Cameron Ravanbach (La Jolla/ La Jolla HS). The junior recorded 251 saves a year ago, providing the Tritons with stability in the cage on the defensive side heading into 2013. With the graduation of John Butler and Brian Donohoe, including the redshirting of Josh Stiling (WWPA Player of the Year, ACWPC Division II Co-Player of the Year, ACWPC Division I All-America honorable mention) and Lukas Syka (All-WWPA honorable mention), UCSD will look to replace 155 goals and 84 assists with returners Joe Dietrich, Matt Michalko, David Higginson and Chase Cockerill on the offensive side.

UCSD PICKED TO FINISH SECOND IN WWPA
No. 13 Loyola Marymount has been tabbed as the preseason favorite after receiving three first-place votes, finishing ahead of previous WWPA champions Air Force (2012) and UCSD (2011) by two points.  Defending champion No. 12 Air Force and UCSD finished tied for second, with the Falcons receiving two first-place votes and the Tritons grabbing the final first-place vote. No. 17 UC Davis was predicted to finish fourth, No. 18 Santa Clara was voted fifth and newcomer Cal Baptist was picked sixth.

TRITON NOTES
UCSD is 25-11 in season openers since the inception of the program in 1977 … The Tritons sport 22 California natives on their roster, with Luca De Vivo the lone player hailing from Caracas, Venezuela … The Tritons return 13 players from a team that closed out 2012 with a 9-2 record over its final 11 contests … Check out the final stats of the returners from 2012 by clicking here … The Tritons will look to continue strong play at home in 2013 after finishing 5-1 at Canyonview Aquatic Center a year ago.

REDLANDS
Redlands, coached by Tom Whittemore in his 26th season, is coming off an 8-21 campaign, finishing fifth in the SCIAC with a 6-6 record. After dropping their opening game in the SCIAC conference tournament to Whittier 11-9, the Bulldogs finished the season on a high note with two impressive victories over Occidental 21-6 and La Verne 11-4. The Bulldogs head into 2013 offensive minded, led by senior driver Clint Freeman and junior driver Michael Robinson. Freeman landed a first team All-SCIAC accolade and an honorable mention All-WWPA honor after scoring 27 goals and dishing out 10 assists in conference play. Robinson, a second team All-SCIAC selection, totaled 30 goals, 21 steals and 20 assists for the Bulldogs in conference play a year ago.

SERIES HISTORY
UCSD holds a 26-2 all-time record against the Bulldogs. The two teams last faced each other in the 2011 season opener, with the Tritons earning a 14-4 victory. Junior Matt Michalko and junior Dan Lorch each scored two goals in the victory for UCSD. Redlands' last victory over the Tritons came on Sept. 9, 2007 in a 12-10 contest.

CAL
No. 4 Cal enters 2013 following a year in which the Golden Bears finished third in the MPSF at 5-3 and recorded a 17-8 overall record. Cal fell one game short of reaching the NCAA Final Four, losing to eventual national champion USC 9-5 in the conference tournament championship. With Kirk Everist at the helm for his 12th season, Cal returns 15 players from a year ago, giving the Golden Bears much to be excited about. There is no secret about who powers the Cal squad; senior Collin Smith. The 2013 team captain, Smith earned first team All-America and second team All-MPSF honors last year after recording 61 goals and 31 assists. In all, the Golden Bears return five All-Americans behind Smith, junior Aleska Saponjic (second team), senior Hunter Gettelfinger (honorable mention), junior Jon Sibley (honorable mention) and sophomore Colin Mulcahy (honorable mention).

SERIES HISTORY
Cal holds a commanding 21-1-1 all-time series record against UCSD. The two teams last faced off in 2011, with Cal defeating the Tritons 18-8. Matt Michalko recorded a hat trick in the loss for UCSD. The last victory for the Tritons against the Golden Bears came in a 9-7 game in 2000.

CAL LUTHERAN
Cal Lutheran, coached by Craig Rond in his 11th season, is coming off a 15-14 record, finishing third in the SCIAC with a 6-5 record. After suffering a 13-9 defeat to eventual conference tournament champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the Kingsmen concluded their season on a positive note with a 12-11 victory of Whittier for third place in the conference tournament. The Kingsmen return a dozen players from last year, but the graduation of second team All-Americans Carter Baldwin, Dejan Novakovic and Danny Mock will be hard to replace. Baldwin, first team All-SCIAC, and Novakovic, second team All-SCIAC, totaled 109 goals for the Kingsmen while Mock, honorable mention All-SCIAC, totaled a school-record 265 saves.

SERIES HISTORY
CLU is 0-7 all-time against the Tritons. The two teams last faced off in 2011, as UCSD collected a 15-6 victory over the Kingsmen. Shane Troutman and Alec Williams totaled three goals in the victory for the Tritons.

UCLA
The No. 2 Bruins, led by fifth-year coach Adam Wright, finished 2012 one goal short of an NCAA national championship and finished 28-5 overall and 7-1 in the MPSF. After losing its top two scorers and starting goalkeeper from a year ago, the Bruins return a core of four starters in 2013. Junior attacker Paul Reynolds highlights the returners, following a second team All-MPSF selection after totaling 44 goals, 46 assists and 35 steals. Senior defender Chris Wendt (honorable mention All-American), senior utility Aimone Barabino (honorable mention All-MPSF) and sophomore utility Danny McClintick return for the Bears, a group that totaled 100 goals in 2012.

SERIES HISTORY
UCLA is 53-2 all-time against the Tritons. The last meeting came in 2012, with the Bruins defeating the Tritons 13-6. In the loss, Ravanbach recorded seven saves while Dan Lorch added a goal for the Tritons. The last victory against the Bruins came in 2006 in front of a record crowd of 1,740 at the Canyonview Aquatic Center.  The Tritons grabbed a 13-12 victory after scoring the game winning goal with 28 seconds remaining.

GEAR HERE
Triton Athletics is excited about its partnership with Advanced-Online, which provides a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products that can be processed and shipped within 24 hours. Visit the site at UCSDTritonsGear.com.

FOLLOW US
There are now more ways than ever to follow the Tritons. Of course, you’ve always got UCSDtritons.com at your fingertips, but our social media scene is growing by the hour. Get instant updates on Twitter (@UCSDtritons) and like us on Facebook (UCSDtritons). For a more visual approach, watch us on YouTube (UCSDathletics). Be sure to follow us all year for updates, behind the scene looks and great giveaways!

UP NEXT
Following the opening weekend, UCSD embarks on a three-match road stretch in Claremont Sept. 13-14. The Tritons will take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Pomona-Pitzer and USC.

#TritonsRising

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