This Week: Air Force, ranked 15th in the nation, travels to Los Angeles, Calif., for the annual So Cal Tournament, Oct. 11-12. Air Force’s first game in the tournament will be on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 10:50 a.m. against the fourth-ranked USC Trojans. The rest of Air Force’s games will be based on the results of the first-round games. While in the Los Angeles area, the Falcons will play Pomona-Pitzer on Monday (Columbus Day), Oct. 13, at 3 p.m. PT.
A look back at last week: The Falcons, 5-9 overall this season, lost a Western Water Polo Association match to eighth-ranked UC San Diego, 17-7, at the Academy’s Cadet Natatorium. Robby Stiefel, Ben Rogers and Riley Thomas each had two goals and two assists for the Falcons.
Season Leaders: Senior Jantz Johnson leads the team with 25 goals and is second on the team with 35 points. Robby Stiefel leads the team with 23 assists and 37 points and is fourth on the team with 14 goals. Ben Rogers is second on the team with 17 goals while Dominic Vicino is third with 15. Stiefel leads the team with 27 points. Sophomore Max Benson leads the team with 115 saves.
Conference Leaders: Senior Jantz Johnson ranks 11th in the nation with 25 goals scored. Sophomore Robby Stiefel is fifth in the league in assists with 21 and is second in the WWPA with 24 steals. Sophomore goalie Max Benson is fifth in the league with 115 saves. As a team, the Falcons rank sixth in scoring offense (8.85 goals per game), seventh in scoring defense (13.69), sixth in steals per game (7.38) and fourth in saves per game (11.46).
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 286-272-1 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 In 2012, Heidmous was tabbed the WWPA Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.
Up next: Air Force will host its second home match of the season as Santa Clara comes to the Cadet Natatorium on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 11 a.m. MT.