No. 20 Falcons Win Two on Second Day of WWPA Championship
Nov. 22, 2008
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Rebounding from its first-round loss, the sixth-seeded Air Force water polo team won a pair of contests Saturday on day two of the Western Water Polo Association Championship, being hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. In the first game of the day, the Falcons picked up a 12-4 victory over ninth-seed Chapman, followed by a 13-9 victory over seventh-seeded host Claremont.
The Falcons, currently ranked 20th in the nation, opened the morning with a contest versus Chapman. The teams met just two weeks ago, with Air Force grabbing a 8-4 victory. This time, the score would not be as close, as the Falcons took a 3-1 lead after one period and a 6-1 advantage at the break.
The Panthers were able to get within four goals in the third period, outscoring the Falcons 2-1, but Air Force turned on the offense in the final quarter, leading 12-3 before Chapman scored a goal at the buzzer to account for the final score.
Senior Tyler Hewko (Laguna Hills, Calif.) was the top scorer for Air Force against Chapman, tallying three goals, while Bobby Geiger (So., Buellton, Calif.), Miles McMullan (Sr., Irvine, Calif.) and Jack Hines (Jr., Riverside, Calif.) all notched two goals each. Also scoring for the Falcons were Alex Churnside (Jr., Orange, Calif.), Kurt Wallin (So., Temecula, Calif.) and Jason Fung (Jr., Honolulu, Hawaii) with one goal apiece.
Following its victory over Chapman, Air Force moved into the consolation semi-finals against host Claremont. It marked the third time this season that the teams have met, including the Falcons' regular-season finale. Air Force won both previous contests this year, and made it three in a row with their win today.
Again, the Falcons started out strong, getting out to a 5-2 advantage after one period. The offense slowed down in the second quarter with each team scoring just one goal, but Air Force still led 6-3 at the half. The Falcons again outscored the Stags in the third period, taking a 10-6 cushion into the final stanza, and were able to hold on to the 13-9 victory.
Hines was Air Force's leading scorer with four goals in the contest, while Hewko added three scores. Fung tallied two goals and Geiger, Kevin Williams (Sr., River Forest, Ill.), Matt Versage (So., Merced, Calif.) and Charley Ford (So., Clovis, Calif.) added a goal each.
Now the Falcons, who currently hold a 17-14 overall record, will wrap up the 2008 season with a trip to the fifth-place contest, where they will take on 16th-ranked Redlands. The game is slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. (PT).
#6 Air Force 12, #9 Chapman 4
#6 Air Force 13, #7 Claremont 9