Men’s Water Polo Preview

Teams: No. 14 UC Davis vs. No. 5 Pepperdine; No. 15 Air Force; Fresno Pacific; No. 10 Concordia (Calif.); Brown

Records: Aggies, 10-9; Waves, 7-8; Falcons, 12-9; Sunbirds, 12-6, Eagles, 17-3; Bears, 12-6

Where: Schaal Aquatics Center

When: Friday at 3 p.m.

Who to watch: After tallying only 73 minutes of play in his first two season combined, junior Carlos Martinez is proving he is earning his minutes this year with an impressive breakout season.

The Walnut Creek, Calif. native enters the weekend with 13 goals, 10 steals and 10 drawn kickouts while averaging more than 20 minutes in the water per contest.

Did you know? The Waves have engulfed the Aggies the past five times they have played, winning by an average of almost four goals per game. The last UC Davis victory dates back to Sept. 16, 2006 when the Aggies slipped away with a 10-9 win.

Preview: The wait is finally over. On the 20th game of the season, one of the perennially top-ranked UC Davis teams makes its home debut.

Coming off a bye week where the Aggies hosted the annual Alumni game, UC Davis is thrown back into action against the No. 5 ranked team in the country.

“Pepperdine is a really talented and balanced team,” Martinez said. “All their players can pretty much do everything so we have to play solid all around.”

After the Aggies face the Waves on Friday, they head to Santa Clara for a four-game round robin tournament against a variety of challenging opponents.

Headlining the Rodeo tournament are UC Davis’ games against No. 10 Concordia and conference foe No. 15 Air Force.

The youthful Aggies are going to need to play together and keep their energy high during this tough five-game swing.

“Since August, I think we’ve accomplished some things I didn’t think we’d accomplish, and we’ve won games I didn’t think we’d win,” coach Steve Doten said. “This weekend will be huge for that, because there are some games where we should be very competitive.”

- Sammy Brasch

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