Teams: No. 12 UC Davis at No. 11 UC San Diego; at No. 10 Loyola Marymount
Records: Aggies, 20-7 (11-2); Tritons, 12-7 (10-3); Lions (11-6) (8-1)
Where: Canyonview Aquatic Center – La Jolla, Calif.; Burns Aquatics Center – Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Friday at 6 p.m.; Saturday at 1 p.m.
Who to watch: Junior Russell Hampton netted nine goals during last weekend’s tournament run, and scored a hat trick when UC Davis played against UC San Diego earlier in the season.
Did you know? Senior Aaron Salit leads the Western Water Polo Association in goals with 64 to his name.
Preview: UC Davis could lock up the No. 1 seed for the WWPA this weekend.
The task won’t be easy, as the Aggies travel to southern California to square off against the third and second place teams in the conference, and the No. 11 and No. 10 teams in the country, respectively. Coach Steve Doten believes his team is prepared for the challenges it faces this weekend.
“We played San Diego in southern California earlier this season and came up just short,” Doten said. “We’ve made adjustments to the offense and defense to prepare for a team of their caliber.”
The Aggies’ confidence should be riding high after last weekend’s 4-0 tournament run in Santa Clara. UC Davis secured a 20-win season for the first time since 2007, however it will need a victory over a tough Loyola Marymount squad to secure a regular season conference title.
“We are doing a much better job against the drops. We made adjustments for 6-on-5 play, and we were moving much better. Now we have a chance to be the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament,” Doten added. “This is a great group, a really great team, as good as the ’07 team and could be even better with a regular season conference championship and more.”
- Russell Eisenman