Men's Water Polo Breaks into Top-15 Before Heading to Conference Match-Ups
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- After going 4-1 over the weekend and picking up their first conference win of the season, the No. 14 Broncos head down to Southern California, and face conference competition. The Broncos are set to play conference rival No. 10 UC San Diego on Fri. Nov. 1, then move up to Los Angeles on Saturday and play Pomona-Pitzer and finish off the weekend on Sunday with another conference game against No. 12 Loyola Marymount.
"We have three tough road games this weekend, and two of them are conference games," said Bronco head coach Keith Wilbur. "The conference games against UCSD and LMU will be very important in terms of end of the year seeding at conference championships, and it will be a good test to see how we perform on the road."
Earlier this season, the Broncos faced UC San Diego and left the pool with an exciting sudden death overtime win, 11-10. The Tritons are lead by junior, and San Diego native, Tommy Friedrich who has scored 38 goals this season. Junior Joe Dietrich is second for the Tritons with 32 goals scored this. Both Friedrich and Dietrich scored the last time they played the Broncos. In the cage for UC San Diego is junior Cameron Ravanbach. Ravanbach has tallied 207 blocks for the season. UC San Diego boasts a young roster, and has no active seniors on its roster this season.
Next, the Broncos will travel to Los Angeles for their only nonconference game of the weekend against Pomona-Pitzer. Pitzer is currently 5-19 for the season. The Sage Hens rotate two goalies through the cage, Senior Tyler Hill who has 94 blocks for the season and Junior Austin Strong who has 67 blocks. Freshman James Baker has made an impact for the Sage Hens this season and is tied with junior Stephen Vint with 34 goals scored, leading the team.
In their final game in Southern California, the Broncos are set to play LMU. The Lions are 1-1 in conference, picking up a win over Air Force on Oct, 27th. The Broncos and the Lions met earlier this season, and the Lions came out with the 11-10 win. The Broncos battled hard but a last minute goal by the Lions was enough to win the game for them.
Much like UC San Diego, LMU possesses a young roster for the 2013 season, only listing one active senior. The Lions are lead by Serbian native Milutin Mitrovic, who has 53 goals this season and set the record of goals scored by a freshman last season for the Lions. Anchoring the defense for the Lions is freshman Kirk Wilenius who has recorded 151 blocks this season.
After their impressive performance at The Rodeo Tournament, the Broncos have now moved from 16 to 14 in the NCAA rankings. Bronco goalie Matt Pritchett was also named KAP7 Player of the Week for making 78 saves in five games including 24 in their conference win over Cal Baptist.
The Broncos are looking to keep up their perfect conference record and defeat UC San Diego and LMU. Be sure to check back in and see how your Broncos do this weekend.