Top-Four MPSF Battles on Saturday

Oct. 30, 2017

MPSF Men's Water Polo Release 9

USC (1-0 MPSF, 21-1 Overall) extended its win streak to eight games last week with a pair of non-conference results, 25-3 at Concordia (Oct. 27) and 24-8 over No. 11 San Jose State on Senior Day (Oct. 28) at Uytengsu. Matteo Morelli had five goals at CUI, before James Walters, Grant Stein, Marin Dasic, and Marko Vavic each scored a hat trick vs. SJSU. Vavic’s six goals on the weekend give him a team-high 39 on the year. McQuin Baron totaled 15 saves over the two games, giving him 983 in his career, and 74 from the all-time conference record of 1,057 (Alex Malkis, Pacific; 2010-13). Top-ranked USC travels to No. 2 California Saturday (Nov. 4) at 11:00 am on Pac-12 Networks. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since last year’s NCAA title game, and the second of three MPSF contests for each team. The Trojans also play at No. 5 Pacific Sunday (Nov. 5), before the regular season conference finale at UCLA (Nov. 11).

CALIFORNIA (1-0 MPSF, 17-1 Overall) comes off a bye week, in preparation for hosting top-ranked USC in an MPSF contest Saturday. The Bears’ regular season finale is at rival Stanford to close their MPSF schedule on Nov. 9. Last in action, Cal won 12-9 at No. 2 UCLA (Oct. 21). Up by one at half, the Bears scored back-to-back goals midway through the third quarter to take a 9-6 lead and were not caught. Odysseas Masmanidis poured in a hat trick, while Nikos Delagrammatikas, Luca Cupido, and Conor Neuman added two goals apiece. Kevin LeVine recorded 11 saves in the cage. On Oct. 22, Cal made it seven-straight wins with a 14-8 outcome at No. 8 Long Beach State. Masmanidis delivered another hat trick and drew three ejections. Cupido had a game-high four goals, making him the first player in the MPSF this year to reach 50 (2.78 GPG). He added two assists, three steals, and drew four ejections.

STANFORD (0-1 MPSF, 15-3 Overall) posted its eighth and ninth consecutive victories this past weekend, 10-9 at No. 7 Long Beach State Saturday (Oct. 28) and 11-5 at No. 6 UC Irvine Sunday (Oct. 29). The nine-straight wins is Stanford’s longest since winning 11-straight in 2013. Ben Hallock netted a game-high four goals at LBSU, while Jackson Kimbell added three. Adding another goal at UCI, Hallock has scored in all 18 games to begin his collegiate career with an MPSF second-best total of 49 (2.72 GPG). Reid Chase scored a game-high three goals at UCI, while Drew Holland collected nine saves. Holland’s career saves total stands at 876, 13 away from cracking the MPSF’s all-time top-five. No. 4 Stanford hosts No. 3 UCLA in an MPSF contest Saturday (Nov. 4) at 12:30 pm on Pac-12 Networks. This is the second of three MPSF regular season games for each team, and the first head-to-head meeting of the year.

UCLA (0-1 MPSF, 16-2 Overall) held off No. 5 Pacific at home (Oct. 28), 12-11. The third-ranked Bruins took an 11-5 lead into the fourth quarter. Matt Farmer led with a game-high four goals, including two in the third quarter to help the Bruins extend a three-goal halftime lead, while also picking up a steal and drawn exclusion. Alex Roelse added a hat trick. Two MPSF contests remain on the Bruin schedule; at Stanford (Nov. 4) and USC at home (Nov. 11). UCLA also plays a non-conference game at San Jose State this Sunday (Nov. 5).

PENN STATE BEHREND (0-0 MPSF, 6-12 Overall) closed its regular season with a 15-11 loss at home to Gannon this past Saturday (Oct. 28). Matt Olimski collected 15 saves, while Troy Valkusky scored a hat trick and picked up two steals. The Lions are next in action as the five seed in the MPSF Championship Tournament, Nov. 17-19 at Stanford.