SANTA CLARA, Calif. -
The 11th-ranked UC San Diego men's water polo team took down Pomona-Pitzer, 11-8, in the opening round of the Western Water Polo Association Championships on Friday afternoon at Sullivan Aquatic Center on the campus of Santa Clara University.
The Tritons improve to 13-11 on the year and will advance to face No. 12 UC Davis in the tournament semifinals on Saturday at 11:40 a.m. Davis (17-9) punched its ticket to the semifinals with a 14-10 victory over Air Force on Friday afternoon.
Ryan Allred led all Triton goal scorers with four goals on the afternoon, while Graham Saber added three scores. Leading goal-scorer Brian Donohoe found the back of the net twice and Jakub Bednarek and John Butler each contributed a goal. David Morton recorded seven saves.
UCSD opened the match with three unanswered goals from Butler, Bednarek and Donohoe. The Tritons would take a 3-1 lead into the second period, increasing their lead to five by the halftime whistle. Allred and Saber scored a pair of goals in the second quarter.
Pomona-Pitzer would outscore UCSD, 5-3, in the second half; however, the Triton lead would be too much to overcome, as a pair of second half goals from Allred and a Donohoe score put the match out of reach.
The Sagehens drop to 16-17 overall and will face Whittier on Saturday at 10:20 a.m. Whittier fell to Redlands, 9-8, in its opening round contest.
The Aggies finished tied at the top of the WWPA standings with Loyola Marymount at the end of the regular season with a 13-1 conference record, but a LMU victory over Davis on Nov. 5 gave the Lions the number one seed going into the WWPA Championships.
UCD beat UCSD both times the squads met during the regular season, with the Aggies taking a 10-6 decision on Sept. 18 and a narrow 6-5 win on Oct. 15 in Davis.
Santa Clara will meet LMU in the other tournament semifinal on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. LMU defeated Redlands, 13-6, on Friday afternoon.
The championship match is slated for Sunday at 1:30 p.m., with the winner earning an automatic bid to the 2010 National Collegiate Men's Water Polo Championship hosted by Cal Dec. 4-5.
Loyola Marymount has won three consecutive WWPA titles. Since 2000, UCSD and LMU are the only two schools that have captured a WWPA championship.
The Tritons fell, 5-4, to the Lions in the championship match in 2009. The teams were tied 4-4 going into the final period, but LMU's Max Schlegel broke the deadlock with 4:01 left and championships MVP Andy Stevens made 14 saves in goal to preserve the Lion win. In 2008, LMU also beat UCSD in the championship match, 12-10
2010 WWPA Men's Championship Schedule/Results
Friday, November 19 - Dark Caps vs. White Caps
Game 1: 9:00 a.m. - Air Force 15 Chapman 5
Game 2: 10:20 a.m. - Redlands 9 Whittier 8
Game 3: 11:40 a.m. - Santa Clara 13 Claremont 4
Game 4: 1:00 p.m. - UC San Diego 11 Pomona-Pitzer 8
Game 5: 2:20 p.m. - UC Davis 14 Air Force 10
Game 6: 3:40 p.m. - LMU 13 Redlands 6
Saturday, November 20
Game 7: 9:00 a.m. - Claremont vs. Chapman
Game 8: 10:20 a.m. - Pomona-Pitzer vs. Whittier
Game 9: 11:40 a.m. - SEMIFINAL #1 - UC Davis vs. UC San Diego
Game 10: 1:00 p.m. - SEMIFINAL #2 - LMU vs. Santa Clara
Game 11: 2:20 p.m. - Winner Game #7 vs. Redlands
Game 12: 3:40 p.m. - Winner Game #8 vs. Air Force
Sunday, November 21
Game 13: 8:00 a.m. - Ninth Place - Loser Game #8 vs. Loser Game #7
Game 14: 9:20 a.m. - Seventh Place - Loser Game #12 vs. Loser Game #11
Game 15: 10:40 a.m. - Fifth Place - Winner Game #11 vs. Winner Game #12
Game 16: 12:00 p.m. - Third Place - Loser Game #9 vs. Loser Game #10
Game 17: 1:30 p.m. - CHAMPIONSHIP - Winner Game #10 vs. Winner Game #9
2010 WWPA Men's Championship Seeding
1. LMU (17-8, 13-1)
2. UC Davis (17-9, 13-1)
3. UC San Diego (13-11, 8-4)
4. Santa Clara (18-14, 7-7)
5. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (18-12, 9-7)
6. Pomona-Pitzer (16-17, 9-8)
7. Air Force (11-18, 5-10)
8. Redlands (19-15, 9-6)
9. Whittier (13-19, 7-10)
10. Chapman (11-14, 3-9)