Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Head coach Denny Harper earned his 500th career victory the last time the Tritons faced California Baptist.
Five-Game Slate on Tap for No. 13 UCSD
Release: Wednesday 10/09/2013 

Match 16
No. 20 California Baptist
Friday, Oct. 11 • 3 p.m.
Lancer Aquatics Center • Riverside

Match 17
No. 5 Cal
Saturday, Oct. 12 • 12:15 p.m.
Anteater Aquatics Complex • Irvine
SoCal Tournament

Match 18
Saturday, Oct. 12 • 4:50 or 6:15 p.m. (TBD)
Anteater Aquatics Complex • Irvine
SoCal Tournament

Match 19 & 20
Sunday, Oct. 13 • TBD
Anteater Aquatics Complex • Irvine
SoCal Tournament

The Tritons sit at 7-8 overall and 1-0 in the WWPA in its 2013 campaign. Overall, UCSD boasts a well-balanced offensive attack, highlighted by five players that have totaled double-digits in goals, assists and steals in 2013: Chase Cockerill (11g, 25a, 27s), Joe Dietrich (17g, 16a, 11s), Jeffrey Jarvis (23g, 12a, 12s), Luca De Vivo (13g, 17a, 40s) and David Higginson (22g, 22a, 14s). Jarvis leads the team in scoring with 23 scores, while Tommy Friedrich and Higginson have totaled 22 each. Cockerill leads the team in assists with 25 and De Vivo has grabbed the most steals with 40. UCSD also possesses five players with 10 or more ejections drawn, led by Matt Michalko with 23.

Loyola Marymount (0-1) 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 (1-0) came in tied for second alongside the Tri­tons. The Falcons received two first-place votes, while UCSD (1-0) grabbed the final first-place vote. UC Davis (0-0) was predicted to fin­ish fourth, Santa Clara (0-0) was voted fifth and newcomer California Baptist (0-1) was picked sixth to round out the conference. The matchup on Friday between the Tritons and the Lancers of CBU will be the first WWPA game between the two schools.

The SoCal Tournament will feature many of the top water polo teams in the nation, as 15 of the 16 participating schools are nationally ranked. The top-11 nationally ranked teams will be present. Here is a full list with UCSD’s all-time record against the field: No. 1 UCLA (2-55, 0-2 in 2013), No. 2 USC (2-33, 0-1 in 2013), No. 3 Pacific (11-9), No. 4 Stanford (0-32), No. 5 Cal (1-28-1, 0-1 in 2013), No. 6 Santa Barbara (19-39, 0-2 in 2013), No. 7 Long Beach State (15-48), No. 8 Pepperdine (7-41-1), No. 9 UC Irvine (10-42), No. 10 Loyola Marymount (51-23, 1-0 in 2013), No. 11 Concordia (2-1, 0-1 in 2013), No. 14 UC Davis (44-12), No. 15 Santa Clara (37-2), No. 16 St. Francis College Brooklyn (4-0) and Pomona-Pitzer (34-0, 1-0 in 2013).

UC Irvine is hosting the annual SoCal Tournament in 2013 at Anteater Aquatics Center and Corona del Mar HS. The Tritons will play its first game against No. 5 Cal at UCI, with a start time of 12:15 p.m. If UCSD prevails, the Tritons will play the winner of the Stanford/UCD matchup at 4:50 p.m. at Anteater. If UCSD grabs another win in the afternoon game, the Tritons will play at 12:15 on Sunday at UCI in the semifinals. The championship match will be played at 6:15 p.m. Sunday at Anteater. A full schedule of events can be found by clicking here.

Head coach Denny Harper managed his 1,000th career game on Sept. 21 … Cameron Ravanbach now sits at 399 career saves. The junior from La Jolla HS entered UCSD’s top 10 all-time career saves list at No. 10, passing assistant coach Glenn Busch’s (1997-00) mark of 371 … De Vivo is approaching the single season top-10 ranks in steals (40), needing 13 to crack the list (53) … The Tritons don’t sport a single senior on its roster, yet have seven freshman … Six different players have tallied their first career goals as Tritons: Daniel Straub (1), Jack Bernstein (1), Bryan Lee (1), Connor Watson (2), Andy Moore (3) and De Vivo (13) … UCSD has 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).

UCSD head coach Denny Harper is in his 34th season leading the Tritons. He has compiled a career record of 578-424-4, 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.

After a loss against No. 18 Air Force on Sept. 27, dropping California Baptist’s record to 3-6, the Lancers have won seven of eight to improve its record to 10-7 in 2013. The only setback came against No. 7 Long Beach State last weekend at the Gary Troyer Tournament in Claremont. CBU, in its first season in the WWPA, currently sits at 0-1 in conference play following the loss against AFA. The matchup on Friday marks the second conference game for both CBU and UCSD. Before hosting the Tritons, the Lancers will take on St. Francis in Riverside on Thursday. CBU currently holds a home record of 4-2 and averages 10.8 goals per game at the Lancer Aquatics Center. Senior Matt Puig, who has totaled 25 goals, 10 ejections drawn and five steals in 2013 powers CBU. Senior Keith Jizmejian (17g, 9 a) and sophomore Cody Wetherbee (14g, 5a) complement the offense from Puig. On the defensive side, freshman Joseph Moorman has started the past four games in the cage for the Lancers, totaling 52 saves for an average of 13 blocks per game. He snagged 20 saves in a win against Redlands, good for the second-highest single-game total in CBU history. Rick Rowland, in his 15th season at the helm, leads the Lancers.

The Tritons hold a perfect record against the Lancers in four different meetings. The last gathering came in 2008, resulting in a 14-8 decision in favor of UCSD. Harper earned his 500th career victory in the win for UCSD.

No. 5 Cal enters with an 8-3 overall record in 2013. Cal fell one game short of reaching the NCAA Final Four last season, losing to eventual national champion USC, 9-5, in the MPSF conference tournament championship. Kirk Everist, who is in his 12th season, returns 15 players from a year ago to give Cal a veteran led squad. There is no secret about who powers the Bears, senior Collin Smith. A 2013 team captain, Smith earned first team All-America honors last year and has followed with a strong start to his 2013 campaign. He has totaled 22 goals, 19 steals and 11 assists to lead the Bears in scoring. In all, Cal returns five All-Americans from 2012: Smith, junior Aleska Saponjic (second team), senior Hunter Gettelfinger (honorable mention), junior Jon Sibley (honorable mention) and sophomore Colin Mulcahy (honorable mention). Complementing the 22 scores from Smith, Cal has received a combined 40 goals from Saponjic, Gettelfinger and Mulcahy. The cage is manned by Sibley, who has totaled 120 saves for an average of 7.18 blocks per game.

Cal holds a commanding 22-1-1 all-time series record against UCSD. Saturday’s gathering marks the second meeting of the year between the two teams. The Bears and Tritons clashed in the pool on Sept. 7 at the Triton Invitational, with Cal prevailing in a 13-10 decision. Gettelfinger scored four times while Smith tallied two goals for Cal. The Tritons played the Bears tough all four periods before falling. In the setback for the Tritons, Friedrich notched a season-high four goals. The only victory for the Tritons against the Bears came in a 9-7 game in 2000.

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UCSD will play host to WWPA opponent Air Force next Friday, Oct. 25. The game is slated to begin at 6 p.m. at Canyonview.


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