Men’s Water Polo Closes Season On High Note, Posts Comeback Win in WWPA Championship

Men’s Water Polo Closes Season On High Note, Posts Comeback Win in WWPA Championship

WWPA Championship Central

FRESNO, Calif. – Santa Clara men's water polo finished the season on a high note by posting a come-from-behind 10-7 win over California Baptist on Saturday to claim fifth place in the Western Water Polo Association Championship.

Mac Carey scored three times, including the game-winner, Reilley May drew four ejections and earned two penalty shots, and Sean Tehaney recorded 10 saves and two steals for the sixth-seeded Broncos (11-14) who tallied the final six goals.

PJ McDonough scored twice and Gabe Thorne was credited with 15 blocks for the fourth-seeded Lancers (22-12).

Dominick Nevarez's goal with 1 second left in the third increased the California Baptist lead to 7-4, but the Broncos took advantage on the power play in the final frame.

Patrick Kirk and Dane Estrella scored early in the fourth period and Jack Rottman tied the game at 7-all with the extra attacker. Carey scored on a 5-meter attempt, one of three for Santa Clara in the game, with 3:10 left and Shane Hughes added an insurance marker less than one minute later.

"It was a real good win to finish the season," head coach Keith Wilbur said. "It was a great rally by the guys in the fourth quarter. They showed a lot of heart and great composure. I'm very happy for our seniors to finish off their careers with a solid win against a very good team and conference rival."

Tehaney posted four of his saves in the fourth quarter when the Broncos needed only eight shots for their scoring outburst.

The Lancers, who fell to fifth-seed Air Force in Friday's quarterfinal, led by three on three occasions, including tallying the first three goals of the game.

A power play strike from Carey midway through the third quarter close the gap to 4-3, but Cal Baptist answered with man advantage goals from Hunter Barnett and McDonough.

The Lancers missed their final nine shot attempts in the game.

Santa Clara was 3-for-9 with the man advantage, but all three scores occurred in the final 9 minutes.

In Friday's 12-10 quarterfinal loss to LMU, the Broncos were unable to convert on a pair of attempts with the extra attacker when they pulled within 10-9 with 6 minutes left in the game.

• The Broncos returned to their normal starting lineup of Sam Toriggino, Patrick Kirk, Reilley May, Dane Estrella, Shane Hughes, Mac Carey and Sean Tehaney for the two tournament games. Toriggino missed the final two regular season games with an injury and May was out of the lineup for the season finale against Pepperdine on Nov. 4. Tehaney made his 16th-straight start in net.
• May ended the year with 80 earned ejections, one shy of the school record set by Paul Navabpour in 1989. May ended his career with a Santa Clara record 222 kickouts drawn. He eclipsed that mark earlier this season.

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