Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Junior utility Arman Momdzhyan, who was named All-WWPA First Team on Tuesday, currently leads the team with 34 goals.
No. 14 Tritons Will Try to Claim Fourth Straight Conference Title at WWPA Championship
Release: Thursday 11/17/2016 

Overall: 13-7
WWPA: 5-1
Home: 5-3
Away: 4-3
Neutral: 4-1

Match 21
vs. Fresno Pacific (9-18, 0-6 WWPA)
Friday, Nov. 18 • 10:30 a.m.
Sullivan Aquatic Center • Santa Clara
Live Stats • Live Video

Match 22
Saturday, Nov. 19 • TBD
Sullivan Aquatic Center • Santa Clara

Match 23
Sunday, Nov. 20 • TBD
Sullivan Aquatic Center • Santa Clara

The 14th-ranked University of California San Diego men's water polo team will try to win its unprecedented fourth straight Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) title at the conference championship tournament, hosted by Santa Clara. The Tritons will battle Fresno Pacific in the first round on Friday, Nov. 18 at 10:30 a.m. 

Friday, Nov. 18
Game 1 - UC San Diego vs. Fresno Pacific, 10:30 a.m. 
Game 2 - Loyola Marymount vs. Air Force, 12:15 p.m.
Game 3 - California Baptist vs. Santa Clara, 2 p.m. 

Saturday, Nov. 19
Game 4 - lowest-seeded losing team from Friday vs. second lowest-seeded losing team from Friday, 9:30 a.m.
Game 5 - UC Davis vs. lowest-seeded advancing team from Friday, 11:15 a.m. 
Game 6 - highest-seeded advancing team from Friday vs. second highest-seeded advancing team from Friday, 1 p.m. 

Sunday, Nov. 20
Game 7 (5th place) - Game 4 winner vs. highest-seeded losing team from Saturday
Game 8 (3rd place) - Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser
Game 9 (title) - Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner

The Tritons were rated 14th in the most recent Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) national poll. UCSD started the season ranked ninth. For full rankings, click here.

(as of Nov. 16)
1. UC Davis 6-0, 21-5
2. UC San Diego 5-1, 13-7
3. Loyola Marymount 4-2, 11-15
4. California Baptist 3-3, 20-9
5. Santa Clara 2-4, 11-14
6. Air Force 1-5, 9-15
7. Concordia 0-0, 5-16
8. Fresno Pacific 0-6, 9-18

For their performances in the regular season, five Tritons were named All-WWPA, announced by the conference on Tuesday. Arman Momdzhyan was placed on the first team after scoring a team-leading 34 goals in his first year as a Triton. Nick Alexander was awarded his second straight All-WWPA Second Team honor after recording 19 goals and 42 assists. The 42 assists is the top mark on the team and third in the conference.

Cole Martinez, Andy Moore and Jack Turner received All-WWPA Honorable Mention accolades. Martinez has 11 goals, four assists and 12 steal, and Moore has 16 goals, 19 assists and 23 steals on the year. Turner controls things inside the cage and has recorded 194 saves, 24 steals and 16 assists thus far.

Skyler Munatones was named to the WWPA All-Freshman team and the 2016 Freshman of the Year after a stellar debut season. He is second on the team in both goals and assists with 27 and 23, respectively, and also has 10 steals.

Goals: Arman Momdzhyan, 34
Assists: Nick Alexander, 42
Points (goals+assists): Nick Alexander, 61
Steals: Jack Turner, 27
Saves: Jack Turner, 220

With 42 assists this season, senior Nick Alexander now has 132 for his career, which puts him third all-time. Ahead of him is John Butler (134) and Adnan Jerkovic. Jerkovic is UCSD's career assist leader by more than 100 at 237.

With 18 assists and 26 steals this season, Andy Moore now has 97 assists and 111 steals for his career. He will need 11 assists and 34 steals to enter the all-time top 10. 

Sophomore goalie Jack Turner now has 428 career saves with 220 coming this year. He will need 18 more to enter the all-time top 10. 

12 Tritons have combined for 23 hat tricks:

Arman Momdzhyan (4)
9/8 vs. Iona (five goals)
9/10 vs. Johns Hopkins (five goals)  
9/15 at Cal Lutheran (four goals)
9/23 vs. Fresno Pacific (four goals) 

Skyler Munatones (3)
9/15 at Cal Lutheran (three goals)
9/21 vs. Loyola Marymount (three goals)
10/7 at Pomona-Pitzer (three goals)

Jack Ellinthorpe (3)
9/10 vs. Johns Hopkins (four goals)
10/7 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (four goals)
10/20 vs. Concordia (four goals)

Nick Alexander (3)
9/9 vs. Brown (three goals)
10/12 vs. Long Beach State (three goals)
11/3 vs. Santa Clara (three goals)

Nassim Hmeidan (2)
9/8 vs. Iona (three goals)
9/30 at Air Force (four goals)

Andy Moore (2)
10/7 at Pomona-Pitzer (three goals)
10/20 vs. Concordia (four goals)

Kevin Asplund (1)
10/7 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (three goals)

Ari Wayne (1)
10/8 vs. Penn State Behrend (five goals)

Kacper Langiewicz (1)
10/8 vs. Penn State Behrend (five goals)

Rich Farley (1)
10/8 vs. Penn State Behrend (five goals)

Luka Vasiljevic (1)
10/8 vs. Penn State Behrend (three goals)

Collin Sullivan (1)
10/20 vs. Concordia (three goals)

No. 8 UC Davis received the top seed with a perfect 6-0 conference record. The Aggies finished the regular season 21-5 overall. WWPA Player of the Year Ido Goldschmidt has 43 goals and 37 assists to lead UC Davis. Spencer Creed controls things in the cage with 207 saves, averaging 8.0 goals-against per game. Daniel Leyson is in his fourth year as the head coach of the Aggies. 

UCSD is 47-16 all-time against the Aggies. The Tritons fell to UC Davis, 7-5, during the regular season on the road. 

Loyola Marymount is ranked 16th and was awarded the third seed with a 4-2 conference record. The Lions finished the regular season 11-15 overall. Dayne Jagga has 61 goals on the year to lead LMU. Daniel Arellano has 65 assists to lead the Lions and WWPA. Head coach John Loughran is in his 20th year at the helm of the LMU program. 

UCSD leads the all-time series against LMU, 55-25. The Tritons defeated the Lions 11-10 at home during the regular season in front of a crowd of 1,539 fans. 

Fourth-seeded and 15th-ranked California Baptist finished the regular season with a 4-3 conference record and 21-9 overall. All-WWPA First Team goalkeeper Joseph Moorman has 405 saves on the year to 245 goals against. Brent Teraoka leads his team and the WWPA in goals with 71. Kevin Rosa is in his second year as head coach of the Lancers. 

The Tritons are a perfect 11-0 all-time against CBU. UCSD defeated the lancers, 10-7, at Canyonview during the regular season. 

Santa Clara, the hosts of this year's conference tournament, was awarded the fifth seed with a 2-4 conference record. The Broncos are 11-14 overall and are receiving votes in the CWPA national poll. Graham McClone and Mac Carey lead SCU with 55 and 43 goals, respectively. Keith Wilbur is in his 14th season coaching the Broncos. 

UCSD is 44-3 in the all-time series against Santa Clara. The Tritons triumphed over the Broncos, 11-10, during the regular season at the Broncos' home pool. 

Sixth-seeded Air Force finished the regular season 9-15 overall, 1-5 in conference play. Riley Thomas leads the Falcons in all three major categories with 63 goals, 31 assists and 43 steals. Head coach Jeff Heidmous is in his 24th season overall, seventh in his second stint, at the helm of the Air Force program. 

The Tritons have a commanding 64-15 all-time series lead against Air Force. UCSD escaped with a 15-13 overtime win at Air Force during the regular season. 

Seventh-seeded Fresno Pacific went winless in WWPA play at 0-6 and finished the regular season with a 9-18 overall record. David Maes leads the Sunbirds in goals and steals with 66 and 49, respectively, to go along with 32 assists. Erik Brown is FPU's assist leader with 38. Head coach Bryan Suhovy is in his ninth season at the helm. 

UCSD is a perfect 3-0 against FPU. The Tritons crushed the Sunbirds, 16-6, during the regular season. 

UCSD head coach Denny Harper is in his 37th season leading the Tritons. He has compiled a career record of 627-463-4. An 18-time WWPA Coach of the Year and 13-time ACWPC National Coach of the Year, Harper has directed the Tritons to 18 WWPA titles and 14 appearances in the NCAA Championship. Last season, he was named both WWPA and ACWPC Division II Coach of the Year, his fourth straight time earning that award and his eighth since 2000.

Junior utility Arman Momdzhyan was named the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Co-Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 5-11. Momdzhyan, a transfer from Los Angeles Valley College, scored 14 goals in four games that saw the Tritons go 3-1 at the Princeton Invitational. He put away five goals in a 21-4 win against Iona to open tournament. The following day he scored twice to help UCSD defeat No. 14 Brown in overtime, 12-11. On the last day, the Glendale product recorded his second hat trick of the invite by firing home five, with three in the first quarter, in a 15-4 rout against Johns Hopkins in the first game of the day. Momdzhyan had two scores in a 12-10 loss to No. 12 Harvard in the nightcap.

The Tritons were picked to finish second in the WWPA by the league's head coaches. UC Davis was selected as the favorite to win the conference with five first-place votes for 35 points. The Tritons received the other two first-place votes and 32 points. The third spot went to Air Force with 21 points. Loyola Marymount and California Baptist tied for fourth with 20 points. Santa Clara and Fresno Pacific rounded out the poll with 12 and six points, respectively.

2016 WWPA Men’s Water Polo Preseason Coaches' Poll
Institution (First-Place Votes), Points
1. UC Davis (5), 35
2. UC San Diego (2), 32
3. Air Force, 21
T-4. Loyola Marymount, 20
T-4. California Baptist, 20
6. Santa Clara, 12
7. Fresno Pacific, 6

Denny Harper, the 2015 Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) Division II and Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Coach of the Year, begins his 37th year at the helm when the men’s water polo team opens its 2016 schedule this weekend by hosting the Triton Invitational. UCSD is coming off a 15-15 season in which it won the WWPA for the third year running, and placed fourth at the NCAA Championship.

The Tritons will have big shoes to fill with the departure of All-American utility Chase Cockerill, as well as two two-meter players in Tiki Toplak and Tyler Mancuso, and utility Daniel Straub.

UCSD welcomes 12 newcomers, 10 being freshmen, to the team and return 15 players including senior All-American utility Nick Alexander (48 goals, 64 assists and 44 steals in 2015), senior utility Andy Moore (11 goals, 29 assists and 41 steals), redshirt sophomore utility Cole Martinez (31 goals, 18 assists and 27 steals) and redshirt sophomore goalie Jack Turner (248 saves and 35 steals). Twenty-seven of the 28 Tritons on the roster are California natives, with the exception of freshman Perry Brandes, who hails from Alpharetta, Ga. Local products include Kacper Langiewicz (San Marcos/Mission Hills HS), Thomas Higginson (San Diego/The Bishop's School), Martinez (San Diego/La Jolla HS), Rich Farley (Vista/Carlsbad HS/Palomar College), Andreas Stathatos (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Cooper Milton (San Diego/Cathedral Catholic HS), Collin Sullivan (Escondido/San Pasqual HS), John Tony Murphy (San Diego/Grossmont HS) and Jack Ranj (San Diego/Westview HS). For the full roster, click here

UCSD finished the 2015 season at 15-15 overall, highlighted by a third straight yet improbable WWPA tournament title and fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championship. The Tritons, seeded third with a 4-2 regular-season league record, defeated Santa Clara, host Air Force and UC Davis to win the conference crown. UCSD took care of Princeton, 12-7, in the NCAA Championship play-in game to advance to the final four. The Tritons fell to top-seeded and eventual national champion UCLA in the national semifinal and second-seeded Cal in the third-place game.

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If the Tritons are fortunate enough to win the WWPA Championship, UCSD will move on to the NCAA Championship with the conference's automatic bid. The national tournament will be played in Berkeley, Dec. 3-4. 


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