Men’s Water Polo Defeats Four Ranked Teams in 5-0 California Trip

Elizabeth Duswalt, Contributing Writer

Completing its annual trip to California for the Santa Clara Rodeo on Oct. 24-26, the men’s water polo team came back to campus undefeated. Four of the teams the Bison competed against were nationally ranked, and three of the victories on their 5-0 weekend were one-goal wins.

To conclude the weekend, the Bison beat No. 12 UC Davis 11-10 and unranked Fresno Pacific 9-8. Before those victories, the Bison also conquered No. 15 Santa Clara, No. 13 Air Force, and No. 19 Cal Baptist earlier in the tournament.

The Bison are now 7-1 over nationally-ranked opponents this season. The current seven-game winning streak has been the longest for the Bison since their run to the 2012 Eastern Championship title game.

The Orange and Blue started off with a 9-8 opening victory against Santa Clara, and continued their winning ways with a 9-7 win over Air Force and 13-10 victory over Cal Baptist. Stefan Aleksic ’16, Sean Daley ’17, and Grant Curry ’18 each had at least six points on the day.

Curry also reached his career-high by scoring five goals against UC Davis. Daley and Jeff Hagen ’18 added two goals each while Nick Hale ’16 registered three assists.After trailing their opponent by two goals early in the second quarter, the Bison put five in the net to lead 7-6 into the second half. Hagen added the winning goal of the game with 2:26 left in the final quarter after being tied eight times throughout the game. UC Davis was their highest ranked opponent since beating No. 12 Princeton last season.

“The game came down to getting a crucial stop on Davis’ last possession as the clock ran out. We’re a defensively oriented team, so during the last two minutes, we focused on using the entire shot clock on offense and playing good team defense each possession,” said Hagen.

Their last competition of the tournament was Fresno Pacific. There were seven ties throughout the game, but the Orange and Blue never trailed. With 55 seconds left, Hagen scored another game-winning goal on the day. Hale had four assists to reach a team-high of 30 assists this season. Daley led the offense with three goals and three assists, while Aleksic scored two goals and had one assist. Goalkeeper Keegan Williams ’15 totaled 18 saves on the last day.

The final regular season game will be held at home in Kinney Natatorium at 1 p.m. on Nov. 1, when the Bison take on Princeton.

(Visited 65 times, 1 visits today)