Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team had a busy Saturday rolling past Caltech 16-8 before almost pulling off the program's biggest upset in a 10-8 loss to No. 2 UCLA.
Game 1 (Caltech; W, 16-8)
Whittier got off to a slow start against the Beavers holding just a one-goal advantage at 4-3 following the first eight minutes. Dominick Nevarez (Norwalk, Calif.) got the first strike and was joined by Maxwell Murphy (Orinda, Calif.), Cornelis Kriek (Pretoria, South Africa), and Carlos Heredia Viteri (Commerce, Calif.).
In the 2nd quarter WC started pulling away with a 6-1 effort, with all six coming in a row across the first eight minutes. Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.) started it with a power-play goal and was followed by Murphy, Micah Kamai, Ricardo Reyes Jr. (Commerce, Calif.), Heredia Viteri, and Enrico Antunes (Sao Paulo, Brazil) as Whittier led 10-4 at the half. Out of the break the Poets poured it on with their subs with another five connections again all coming in a row. Nevarez went back to back quickly and Kyle Aguilar (Corona, Calif.), Mackenzie Aakhus (Bakersfield, Calif.), and Patrick Seelhorst (Whittier, Calif.) would move the score to 15-5.
Caltech managed to outscore WC in the final quarter 3-1 with Chad Portugal (La Habra Heights, Calif.) scoring the Poets final tally.
Three goalies played on the morning. Dylan Woodhouse (Harare, Zimbabwe) got the start and added two saves and a steal across the first half. Trevor Seifen (Eastvale, Calif.) played the 3rd quarter and added two stops and a steal and Eliott Bergerson (Whittier, Calif.) played the 4th quarter adding four stops and a steal.
Nevarez finished the game with three goals, Murphy added a couple with two assists and a steal, Heredia Viteri added two strikes and two dimes along with a steal and Matthew Townsend (Naperville, Ill.) posted two assists.
Game 2 (No. 2 UCLA; L, 10-8)
After a solid morning victory, which saw everyone on the roster playing time the Purple & Gold had to travel in the afternoon to take on No. 2 UCLA. Whittier though held their own pushing the Bruins to a near upset.
Whittier was held scoreless in the 1st quarter as they trailed 2-0. The Bruins added another four in the 2nd frame but saw WC get on the scoreboard with a couple from Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) and Heredia Viteri that made it a four-goal game at the half.
In the 3rd quarter Whittier outscored UCLA 2-1 getting back-to-back strikes from Murphy and Zdolsek as the margin was cut down to three at 7-4. Then across the final eight minutes the Poets managed to outscore the Bruins 4-3, which included the final three tallies of the game. Kamai added the first in set for the Purple & Gold and Reyes Jr. and Murphy would add the final three that made it a two-goal game.
Woodhouse played all 32:00 minutes finishing with three saves. Alex Wolf for UCLA added 10 stops and a steal between the posts. Whittier outshot UCLA 31-23 and was 1-for-4 on power plays.
Whittier returns to conference action this Wednesday, October 23 when they travel to take on the University of La Verne beginning at 4:00pm.