Water Polo Storms Sagehens

    After a series of tough matches at the annual Southern California Tournament, the UCSD men’s water polo team was looking to reassert its dominance against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at Canyonview Pool on Oct. 21. The No. 5 Tritons had already won a match against the Sagehens this year, on a 21-5 win at the Inland Empire Tournament on Sept. 9.

    Sanh Luong/Guardian
    After suffering losses to UCLA and USC at the University of Southern California’s annual tournament, the Tritons returned home on Oct. 21 to face Pomona Pitzer. UCSD wasted no time in getting on the board, scoring 11 first-half goals while allowing only one.

    The focused Tritons squad wasted no time attacking Pomona-Pitzer, jumping out to a 10-0 lead early in the match.

    “We had a lot of energy and we wanted to come out and show that it was not going to be easy playing us,” senior goalkeeper Jeremy Randall said. “We were in better shape and wanted to come out and make a statement after a tough loss to UCLA.”

    By halftime, the Tritons held an 11-1 advantage and looked to give everybody on the team solid minutes in the pool.

    The second half of the match featured fewer goals than the onslaught of the first and second quarters, but the Tritons nonetheless cruised to a 14-3 victory.

    Head coach Denny Harper was pleased that the Tritons rebounded from the grueling Southern California Tournament with a strong showing against Pomona-Pitzer.

    “We had a great workout on Friday and the team responded well,” Harper said. “We wanted to make sure we did not overlook Pomona-Pitzer.”

    Senior two-meter offense Ty Lackey led the Tritons with six goals, including five straight in the second quarter. Senior driver Adnan Jerkovic and freshman two-meter offense Daniel Garcia each netted two goals for the Tritons.

    “Ty Lackey and Adnan Jerkovic were unstoppable today,” Harper said. “I could have played those guys all match and they would have dominated.”

    Lackey’s six goals pushed his team-leading total to 47 on the year, while Jerkovic’s two strikes gave him 29 on the season.

    Randall attributed the easy victory to the Tritons’ superior work ethic and team speed.

    “[Pomona-Pitzer] is a big team but they are slow,” Randall said. “We watched a lot of film on them and knew that we were much quicker and we were able to exploit that the entire match.”

    After a string of close matches, Harper was happy to get an easy win.

    “[Pomona-Pitzer] looked like they were not up for the challenge,” Harper said. “It was kind of a relief to not have a stressful game; it was a great team effort.”

    The win pushed UCSD’s record to 19-4 overall and 10-0 in Western Water Polo Association play, and the Tritons remain 6-0 at home. Pomona-Pitzer, which came into the match ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division III standings, now holds a record of 8-13.

    The Tritons look to defend their perfect conference record on the road Oct. 27 and 28, as they travel on to Davis, Calif. to take on No. 13 UC Davis, No. 16 Air Force and No. 18 Santa Clara University. UCSD will play its final home match of the season Nov. 8 against No. 10 UC Irvine, its last match before the championships.

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