Water polo looks for revenge as host of tourney

    The UCSD men’s water polo team will host and compete in the 2002 Western Water Polo Association Championships at Canyonview Pool on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23. The winner of the eight-team tournament will go on to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships Dec. 7 through Dec. 8 in Los Angeles.

    Guardian file photo

    UCSD ended the regular season losing three out of four games to schools from the tough Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. However, the 12-time WWPA Conference Champion Tritons have had two weeks to regroup and get ready for their postseason.

    Last season, UCSD lost to Loyola Marymount University in the WWPA Championships, which were held on the LMU campus. This year, the Tritons are looking to return the favor.

    “”We want some revenge for last year,”” said senior goalie Lance Onken, who has given up just under six goals per game this season. “”We feel like we’re the best team in our conference and the team to beat.””

    But UCSD knows that teams like LMU won’t be a pushover.

    “”[LMU] beat some very good schools we lost to, like Pepperdine and Long Beach State, during the season,”” Onken said.

    Despite LMU’s record against some top-ranked teams, UCSD managed to win both times when the rivals squared off earlier this season, and it’s clear that the Tritons are just as excited about the third meeting as any of the others.

    “”I want to get to the championship game and beat LMU,”” said senior driver Kellan Hori.

    In the tournament, UCSD will continue to utilize the six-for-six substitution pattern that it has used all year.

    “”The way we substitute should help us in a tournament situation where we play a lot of games in a short amount of time,”” Onken said. “”By the end of Friday, our players will have spent half as much time in the water as other teams.””

    UCSD’s substitution pattern and depth also helped it during the two-week layover between games.

    “”We practiced really hard all of last week, and then we had a scrimmage between the two teams with refs and everything,”” Hori said. “”The intensity level was just as high as a normal game.””

    Although there are two games to be played on Nov. 22, UCSD won’t be satisfied with anything but three weekend victories, a WWPA championship and a trip to the NCAA national tournament.

    “”We’re definitely not looking past other teams, but our focus will be on winning the tournament,”” Hori said. “”I remember what it felt like [to lose] last year. I don’t want to go out like that.””

    The Tritons’ first game will be Nov. 22 at 11:30 a.m. against eighth-seeded La Verne. Should UCSD prevail, its next game would be that same night at 8 p.m. With two victories on the first day of the tournament, the Tritons would guarantee themselves a spot in the championship game at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 23.

    “”It’s definitely going to take some of our best games to win the championship,”” Onken said. “”These games are the end of teams’ seasons, so you know that everybody’s going to give everything they have on both sides.””

    The tournament starts at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 22 and ends with the championship game at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 23. All games will be played at Canyonview Pool.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal