Home Pool Finally Sweet After Rout

    Senior driver Sidd Menon was one of nine Tritons to score in UCSD’s dominating 20-4 home victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Oct. 17. (Joseph Ho /Guardian)

    MEN’S WATER POLO ­— After nearly two years since their last home victory, the No. 7 Tritons finally broke their drought in a big way. Leading 13-0 at one point in the game, the UCSD men’s water polo team went on to crush Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20-4 on Oct. 17, giving the Tritons their first home victory since 2006.

    “It was good to get that first win at home,” senior driver Jeff Hunt said. “We didn’t get one all of last year so it was big.”

    UCSD wasted no time getting on the board as senior driver Adnan Jerkovic scored first for the Tritons just over a minute into the game. The Tritons left no room for a response from CMS, as they added five more goals in the period, including two from senior driver Chance Vermilyea.

    The Tritons continued their offensive attack in the second quarter, netting four more goals while holding CMS scoreless in the first half.

    UCSD didn’t let up in the second half, preserving the shutout until CMS converted on a six-on-five opportunity with 2:40 left in the third quarter. The Tritons were able to find playing time for a large portion of their roster, with nine different Tritons finding the goal during the match.

    Amid a schedule filled with tough opposition, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was the first unranked opponent for the Tritons since Sept. 20 when UCSD faced Cal Baptist University in the NorCal Tournament.

    “We never try to overlook any team,” senior utility A.J. Kotanjian said. “We just needed to get in, show that we are the better team and hold their team to as few goals as possible.”

    The win was extra sweet for the team’s five seniors, who collectively scored 11 goals on Senior Night.

    “It capped the night off really well,” Hunt said of the senior ceremony following the game. “It would have put a damper on the night if we had lost.”

    The win improved the Tritons’ overall record to 14-6 and their Western Water Polo Association record to 3-2. UCSD will go back to facing ranked opponents next weekend when it faces No. 8 UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 24 and WWPA opponent No. 6 Loyola Marymount University on Oct. 25, with both games on the road. The Tritons will be looking for their first victory over LMU this season while trying to earn their third over the Gauchos.

    “We know going into it that this is going to be one of the hardest weekends of the season,” Kotanjian said. “It will be the third time we face these teams and we won both games against UC Santa Barbara by one goal and lost both games against LMU by one goal.”

    With UCSD and LMU being the highest-ranked teams in the WWPA, the matchup in Los Angeles between the two teams holds extra weight.

    “We want prove to the water polo world that us and LMU are going to be in the WWPA Championship game,” Kotanjian said.

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