No. 14 Santa Clara
Friday, Nov. 1 • 6 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatics Center • La Jolla
No. 17 UC Davis
Saturday, Nov. 2 • 1 p.m.
Canyonview Aquatics Center • La Jolla
Don’t miss your chance to grab a team poster of the UCSD men’s water polo squad this Friday and Saturday 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.
UCSD sits in a favorable spot in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) at 3-0 with two games remaining. The Tritons are coming off a 15-10 win over 2012 champion Air Force last Friday. UCSD has also defeated preseason favorite Loyola Marymount, 11-7, and California Baptist, 9-8, inside conference play in 2013. The Tritons wrap up WWPA play against Santa Clara and UC Davis this weekend. If UCSD is able to sweep the two matches, a top seed at the conference tournament will be rewarded to the Tritons. The rules state the winner of the regular season, the team with the best record in conference-marked games, will receive the top seed in the championship tournament. The top-two seeds are granted a bye into the semifinals. The tournament is scheduled for Nov. 22-23 in Davis at Schaal Aquatics Center on the campus of UC Davis. The champion will receive an automatic qualifier for the 2013 National Collegiate Men’s Water Polo Championships. The tournament format will feature two play-in games to reach the four-team championship bracket, hosted by Stanford in Palo Alto on Dec. 7-8.
As the only senior on the roster, Tommy Friedrich will be honored before the game against UC Davis on Saturday. The Carlsbad native is currently leading the team in scoring with 38 goals. He poured in a career-high five scores against Pomona-Pitzer this year and is coming off a three-goal performance against Air Force last week. Friedrich was also named UCSDtritons.com Athlete of the Week on Sept. 9 after his performance at the Triton Invitational.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
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 boasts an impressive line of 22 goals, 33 assists and 38 steals on the year to lead UCSD. Joe Dietrich has totaled 32 goals, 21 assists and 18 steals to complement the production from Cockerill. Three other Tritons have amassed double-digits in the three categories, as David Higginson has totaled 25 goals, 27 assists and 17 steals, Jeffrey Jarvis has produced 26 goals, 17 assists and 17 steals and Luca De Vivo has a line of 15 goals, 19 assists and 53 steals. Friedrich leads UCSD in scoring with 38 goals. Cockerill leads the team in assists with 33 and De Vivo has grabbed the most steals with 53. UCSD also possesses six players with 10 or more ejections drawn, led by Matt Michalko with 31.
WWPA STAT LEADERS
UCSD currently has three of the top-10 leaders in goals scored in the conference, leading with Friedrich at 38 scores. Dietrich and Jarvis are also inside the top 10, registering 32 and 26 goals, respectively. Cockerill is atop the WWPA in assists with 33 on the year, while Higginson is third on the list with 27 helpers. De Vivo ranks second in steals with 53 and Cockerill is following in third with 38 thefts. Ravanbach ranks second in saves with 207. As a team, the Tritons are first in assists with 165 to average 7.86 assists per game, first in steals with 258 for an average of 12.29 thefts per game, second in goals scored with 211 for an average of 10.05 scores per game and second in goals against average at 10 per game.
Ravanbach and Dietrich have been named Kap/7 WWPA Players of the Week this season for UCSD. Ravanbach earned the honor for the week of Oct. 7-13. Trevor Allen of UC Davis also earned the weekly honor. The award was the second of his career, previously being honored on Oct. 24, 2012 after recording a career-high 19 stops against Loyola Marymount last season. The junior goalkeeper earned the award after amassing 50 total saves in the cage, highlighted by a 15-save performance in a win over LMU. Dietrich was honored for the week of Sept. 23-29. Caleb Guarino of Air Force also earned the weekly honor. The junior totaled seven goals, four assists and three steals in the three games for the Tritons. The award marked the first of his career.
Head coach Denny Harper managed his 1,000th career game on Sept. 21 … Ravanbach sits at 465 career saves. The junior from La Jolla HS entered UCSD’s top 10 all-time career saves list on Sept. 25 and sits at No. 9, passing assistant coach Glenn Busch’s (1997-00) mark of 371 in the process … De Vivo cracked UCSD’s single season top-10 ranks in steals with 53 at No. 10, tying Michael Nalu’s mark of 53 set in 1991 … Cockerill sits 12 assists away from cracking the single-season top-10 list … The Tritons sport one senior on its roster, yet have seven freshman … Seven different players have tallied their first career goal as a Triton this season: Daniel Straub (3), Bryan Lee (3), Connor Watson (5), Andy Moore (3), Nick Alexander (3) and De Vivo (15) … Daniel Schwartz made his Triton debut in goal in 2013, and has totaled 16 saves on the year in limited action … UCSD has created 121 counter attack opportunities, while the opponent has produced 81 against the Tritons … UCSD is outscoring opponents 65-43 in the third period overall … The Tritons have 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 582-426-4, with a winning percentage of .575. 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 BRONCOS
Santa Clara enters with a record of 13-10 overall and 1-0 in WWPA play. The Broncos are coming off a 4-1 showing at their own tournament, the Rodeo at Sullivan Aquatic Center. SCU picked up wins against California Baptist, Harvard, Brown and Bucknell, while only falling to Concordia. The Broncos boast a very balanced offensive attack, sporting 10 players that have found the back of the cage at least 10 times. Theo Nasser leads the team in scoring with 21 goals, while Graham McClone has scored 20 times. Matt Kochalko facilitates the offense with a team-high 19 assists. On the defensive side, goalkeeper Matt Pritchett has totaled 167 blocks in 2013. Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur is in his 11th season at the helm.
UCSD holds a 37-3 all-time record against Santa Clara. The meeting marks the second time the two teams will clash in 2013. The Broncos grabbed a win, 11-10, at the NorCal Tournament on Sept. 22 in a thrilling sudden-death overtime match. The Broncos received three scores from Patrick Weiss and 12 saves from Pritchett. The Tritons were led by two goals apiece from Higginson, De Vivo and Toplak, while Ravanbach amassed 17 blocks in the cage.
ABOUT THE AGGIES
UC Davis stands at 9-12 overall and 1-0 in conference play on the year. The Aggies recently went 2-2 at the Rodeo in Santa Clara, beating California Baptist and Bucknell, before falling to Harvard and Brown. Chris Richardson leads UC Davis on offense with 41 goals scored, while Trevor Allen (33) and Bernie Rogers (31) have also poured in 30 or more goals for the Aggies. The three have combined for 105 of the 197 goals for UC Davis. On the defensive end, Philip Bates (162) and Zach Tudhope (75) have combined for 237 saves in split time in goal. Daniel Leyson is currently in his first season as head coach of UC Davis.
UCSD currently sports a 44-13 all-time record against UC Davis. The matchup marks the second time the teams will face each other in 2013, with the Aggies earning a win at the SoCal Tournament on Oct. 12. UCD received three goals apiece from Allen and Rogers in the 12-10 win, while UCSD was led by four goals from Dietrich.
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The Tritons will be on the road for their final two regular season games of the year, facing Long Beach State on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. before facing UC Irvine on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m.