Water Polo Competing With the Nation’s Best


    Water Polo Downs Pepperdine and LMU

    The UCSD Men’s Water Polo team quietly had an outstanding weekend at the SoCal Tournament, emerging victorious in the consolation after dropping their opening match to then-No. 4 Stanford.

    The highlight of the tournament was back-to-back wins over Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, neither of whom the Tritons had beaten since the 2006 season. Both squads are perennial contenders for the national title, with Pepperdine winning a championship in 1997 and LMU reaching the national semifinals each of the last three years.

    But these wins are impressive precisely because they are not surprising. Water polo is likely UCSD’s strongest sports program, routinely playing with the nation’s best and – like last weekend – being extremely competitive while doing so. The Tritons do all of this as only a partial scholarship program, which in reality means only a few hundred dollars. By contrast, UCSD’s opponents offer full scholarships, allowing them to attract the nation’s best (which really means California’s best) water polo players.

    To put this in perspective, imagine asking University of San Diego’s football team to compete with UCLA, or Ohio Dominican University to beat Ohio State. Quite simply, it’s not going to happen.


    Close Games for Triton Volleyball

    While the UCSD Women’s Volleyball team has won three of their last four matches, none of the games have been easy. The squad has struggled with a lack of consistency, which leads to streaky play that keeps every game interesting.

    This fact has not been lost on coach Ricci Luyties, who addressed his team’s performance more than a little sarcastically after its latest win over Cal Poly Pomona.

    “We don’t want to have easy games because we like the nail-biter and we like to give me gray hair,” Luyties said. “I think that’s the key – the more close games we can get in this year, the better.”

    Joking aside, the Tritons will have to find a consistent rotation if they hope to make the playoffs. With 11 matches remaining in the regular season, there’s still time for the team to hit its  stride, but the race will certainly be closer than the Tritons expected.


    Time to celebrate, pop the…ginger ale?

    The best moment in game five of the American League Division Series between the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays didn’t actually happen during the game. Cliff Lee’s performance was certainly impressive: He became only the fourth pitcher in history to throw a complete game and record 10 strikeouts in a winner-take-all postseason game. But Lee’s masterpiece was topped by the Rangers’ celebration afterward.

    For those unfamiliar with the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton, he was considered a “can’t miss” prospect out of the 1999 MLB draft. Hamilton then fell victim to drug and alcohol addiction, falling out of the game and hitting near rock bottom. It took several years, but Hamilton got his act together and has emerged as one of the game’s top players.

    Hamilton’s clean and sober lifestyle doesn’t exactly fit in with the traditional baseball celebration of dousing the entire clubhouse in champagne. While the Texas club did break out the bubbly to commemorate winning the series, they also brought along some ginger ale so Hamilton could participate.

    Hamilton has gone from ultimate disappointment to legitimate role model, and he deserves to celebrate the victory. Kudos to the Texas Rangers for showing so much class.

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