Oct. 22, 2008
The 20th-ranked Air Force water polo team heads back out to the West Coast this weekend, Oct. 25-26, for four contests, including three against nationally ranked opponents. The Falcons visit WWPA rival Santa Clara on Saturday to face the 12th-ranked host Broncos along with Cal Baptist. On Sunday, Air Force heads to another WWPA foe, No. 11 UC Davis, to take on the Aggies and 10th-ranked Long Beach State.
Last Time Out... Last weekend, the Falcons swept Iona in a pair of home games, their only home contests of the season, outscoring the Gaels 32-13.
In Air Force's 15-8 victory over Iona on Saturday, sophomore Bobby Geiger led the Falcons' offense with four goals, while Matt Versage, Joey Brewer and Jack Hines added two goals each. Meanwhile, Hines scored a career-high five scores against the Gaels on Sunday to lead the Falcons to a 17-5. Another major contributor in the victory was senior Miles McMullan, who tallied three goals in his final home game, while junior goalkeeper David Ostrom recorded 10 saves.
Scouting the Falcons...
The Air Force Falcons, ranked 20th in the latest coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 12-8 overall record and 7-2 mark in the Western Water Polo Association.
Sophomore Bobby Geiger is the team's leading goal scorer with 34 goals on the season, while junior Alex Churnside leads the Falcons with 50 total points on 29 goals and a team-high 21 assists. In goal, junior David Ostrom has tallied 155 saves on the year.
Scouting the Broncos...
The Santa Clara Broncos, ranked 12th in this week's coaches poll, enters this weekend with a 13-6 overall record and 7-2 mark in the WWPA. The Broncos were off last weekend, but split a pair of conference contests in their last outing, defeating UC Santa Cruz while falling to UC Davis.
Santa Clara is coached by Keith Wilbur, in his sixth season leading the Broncos. Junior Liam Farrell is the team's leading scorer with 34 goals on the year, while freshman Michael Wishart has recorded 164 saves in goal.
Scouting the Lancers...
The Cal Baptist Lancers enter this weekend with a 23-10 overall record. The Lancers are coming off a 10-9 loss to No. 16 Pacific and will host Riverside CC before taking on Air Force this weekend.
Cal Baptist is coached by Rick Rowland, in his 10th season at the helm of the program. Sophomore Aaron Steiger currently leads the nation with 85 goals on the season.
Scouting the Aggies...
The UC Davis Aggies, ranked 11th in last week's coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 7-10 overall record and 5-2 record in the WWPA. The Aggies are coming off a pair of losses to No. 5 Pepperdine and No. 3 California and will play No. 16 Pacific before hosting the Falcons this weekend.
UC Davis is coached by Steve Doten, in his eighth season at the helm of the program. Senior Adam Bennett is the leading scorer for the Aggies with 43 goals on the season.
Scouting the 49ers...
The Long Beach State 49ers, ranked 10th in last week's coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 9-10 overall record. The 49ers are coming off a 12-7 loss to top-ranked USC and will visit UC Irvine and Stanford before facing the Falcons.
Long Beach State is coached by Gavin Arroyo, in his third season at the helm of the program. Jeff Greenwood leads the team with 32 goals on the season, while goalkeeper Derek Wiebe-Bailey has notched 176 saves.
This weekend, Air Force and Santa Clara meet for the 40th time in the series, with the Falcons holding a 33-6 edge. The two teams last met at the 2007 WWPA Championship, when the Falcons upset the Broncos, 10-9, in overtime to secure third place in the conference.
Air Force and Cal Baptist will meet for the 18th time in the series, and the second this season. While the Falcons hold a 10-7 advantage, the Lancers won a 14-9 contest earlier this season.
Sunday's game between Air Force and UC Davis is the 57th all-time, with the Falcons leading 35-21. The Aggies have won two straight against the Falcons, including both games in 2007.
Finally, Air Force will meet Long Beach State for the 30th time in the series, with the 49ers holding a 21-8 edge over the Falcons. The two teams last met in 2006, when LBSU notched a pair of 8-7 victories.
Falcons Go Streaking...
Air Force has won seven straight contests, including 10 of its last 11 games. The winning streak is the longest for the Falcons since 1999, when Air Force won eight-straight games. That squad finished the season with a 21-12 overall record and final national ranking of 13th.
WWPA Player of the Week...
Jack Hines was named the Western Water Polo Association Player of the Week on Oct. 22, following his performance in two games versus Iona. Hines helped the Falcons continue their seven-game winning streak, scoring seven goals in the two contests. He tallied two goals and an assist in Air Force's 15-8 win on Saturday. Meanwhile, Hines, a 2-meter defender, added a career-high five scores in Air Force's 17-5 rout on Sunday, as the Falcons handed Iona its biggest loss of the season.
Hines also had a huge impact defensively, limiting Iona's leading scorer, Joe Przekota, to just two goals for the weekend, one of which came on a penalty shot. Przekota entered the weekend ranked second in the nation in total goals scored.
After a week off, the Falcons wrap up the regular season Nov. 8-9 with four conference games. Air Force will play Loyola Marymount and Chapman at LMU on Nov. 8, while visiting both La Verne and Claremont on Nov. 9.