Falcons open the season at the Triton Invitational
Sept. 4, 2014
The Air Force water polo team opens the 2014 season this weekend, Sept. 6-7, at the annual Triton Invitational, hosted by conference foe UC San Diego. Air Force will face Cal (8:30 am) and Cal Lutheran (3:10 pm) on Saturday, Sept. 6. The Falcons will then meet Pacific (10:40 am) and Long Beach State (3:05 pm) on Sunday, Sept. 7. All times are Pacific.
Scouting the Falcons
The Air Force Falcons are looking to bounce back from a 6-14 overall record last season. Senior Dominic Vicino is the team’s top returning scorer, tallying 20 goals and 35 points last season. Junior Caleb Guarino returns in the pipes for the Falcons. Last season, Guarino had 145 saves and 22 steals. Senior center Petar Jackovich was fifth on the team with 17 goals while sophomore utility Robby Stiefel was second on the team in assists last season with 21.
Head Coach Jeff Heidmous
Jeff Heidmous, the winningest coach in program history, is in his 22nd season coaching the Air Force water polo team. He coached the team from 1981-1998 and then spent 11 years working as a senior administrator in the Air Force athletic department. He returned as head coach of the Falcons in 2010. During his 21-year coaching tenure at the Academy, Heidmous has posted a 281-263-1 career record. He has led the Falcons to three WWPA titles, including 2012 when Air Force captured its first WWPA Championship since 1994. In 2012, the Falcons posted their best-ever NCAA finish, taking fourth place at the national tournament, as Heidmous was tabbed the WWPA Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.
Last Season at the Triton
Air Force faced three teams ranked in the top 20 in the nation, including two in the top six, at last season’s Triton Invitational. The Falcons suffered two overtime losses in the tournament, 12-11 against Redlands and 12-11 in triple overtime to 17th-ranked UC Davis. The Falcons also fell to sixth-ranked Long Beach State (10-8) and top-ranked USC (23-2) in the tournament.
Following the Triton Invitational, Air Force will travel to the Inland Empire Tournament in LaVerne, Calif. The Falcons will face Whittier College (single game prior to the tournament) and Ponoma-Pitzer, Claremont-Mudd Scripps, Redlands and USC during the two-day tournament.
Air Force hosts three games at the Cadet Natatorium this season. The Falcons open the home schedule against UC San Diego on Friday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.. Air Force will host Santa Clara on Oct. 18 and Fresno Pacific on Nov. 1.