Men's Water Polo

Whittier faces tough match-ups at AGGIE Round-Up

Whittier faces tough match-ups at AGGIE Round-Up

DAVIS, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team had a tough weekend at the AGGIE Round-Up going 1-3 with their lone win coming against Austin College.  After that they fell to No. 6 Uni. of Pacific, Santa Clara, and No. 18 San Jose State. 

The Purple & Gold are now 3-7 and have dropped five of their last six.   

Game 1 (Austin College; W, 18-6)

Whittier jumpstarted the two-day tournament with an impressive win over Austin.  They outscored the Roos 10-4 across the opening two periods.  Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.) and Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) got WC started with three straight to open things up.  Borunda completed the hat trick later in the first quarter and Ricardo Reyes Jr. (Commerce, Calif.) and Cornelis Kriek (Pretoria, South Africa) extended the lead to 6-2.

In the second quarter Whittier added to their lead getting three in a row from Zdolsek, Dominick Nevarez (Norwalk, Calif.), and Chad Portugal (La Habra Heights, Calif.).  Austin got two of them back but with 2:21 to play in the half Reyes Jr. added on his second of the game that made it a six-goal deficit.

WC put the game out of reach in the third outscoring the Roos 5-1 behind tallies from Maxwell Murphy (Orinda, Calif.), Nevarez, Kriek, and Reyes Jr.  Then in the 4th, the insurance was tacked on by Toby Chung (La Canada, Calif.) capitalizing on a power-play followed by Matthew Townsend (Naperville, Ill.) with a couple. 

Whittier outshot Austin 37-26 and was 4-for-6 on power-plays.  Dylan Woodhouse (Harare, Zimbabwe) got the start between the posts and played 24:00 minutes finishing with eight saves.  Eliott Bergerson (Whittier, Calif.) came in relief and played the final eight minutes and added three stops.                

Game 2 (No. 6 Uni. of Pacific; L, 19-7)

The second match-up on the day the Poets had to match-up with No. 6 UOP.  Over the first 16:00 minutes Whittier managed just two goals from Micah Kamai (Irvine, Calif.) and Murphy as WC trailed 12-2 at the break.  Out of the half Nevarez converted a 5-meter and was followed by a pair of strikes from Borunda.  Then in the fourth Zdolsek and Mackenzie Aakhus (Bakersfield, Calif.) converted a couple but it wouldn't be enough to spark a comeback.

Whittier was outshot on the game 40-25 and was just 2-for-7 on power-plays.  In goal Woodhouse played all 32:00 minutes and added 16 saves, a career high.        

Game 3 (Santa Clara; L, 11-9)

The second day of competition offered some upset chances for the Purple & Gold.  They started things off with Santa Clara and despite going into the final quarter all tied up at 7-7, couldn't pull off the stunner as they fell 11-9.

After two quick goals from the Broncos, Whittier responded with three unanswered from Zdolsek and Reyes Jr.  In the second a combined five goals were scored with SCU holding the edge 3-2.  Whittier received their two tallies on a 5-meter from Nevarez and a power-play from Zdolsek.    

The Poets flipped the script in the third quarter outscoring the Broncos 3-2 tying things up.  Murphy got things started with a man-up goal and Kriek then responded with a pair that moved the score to 7-7.  Over the final 8:00 minutes it was physical.  Santa Clara found their offense quickly with four straight.  Then with under two minutes to play Whittier would cut the deficit in half with Nevarez and Kriek answering. 

Whittier outshot SCU 36-29 but was just 2-for-5 on power-plays.  Their defense though played tough holding the Broncos to just 3-for-11 shooting on man-up opportunities.  Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) got his first start in goal on the weekend finishing with 10 saves and a steal.        

Game 4 (No. 18 San Jose State; L, 15-9)

The final contest came against a tough San Jose State squad who was coming off a two goal loss in overtime to No. 8 Cal.  The Spartans jumped out in front 6-2 at the break.  Whittier earned their two goals from Kamai and Zdolsek. 

Out of the half Whittier added two in the 3rd from Enrico Antunes (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Kaan Hamurculu (Istanbul, Turkey) and then kept it going in the 4th as Borunda and Nevarez connected that made it a five-goal game.  Later in the period Antunes found the back of the goal again and Reyes Jr. and Townsend ended the big frame each with tallies.

Each team took 30 shots, the difference was Whittier going 3-for-10 on power-plays.  Ersoz started in goal and played the first half finishing with four saves and Bergerson played the second half adding another three stops.         

Whittier enters Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play this week as they travel to take on 2018 SCIAC Champions Pomona-Pitzer this Wednesday, September 25 beginning at 7:00pm.