Falcons Seeded Seventh at 2010 Western Water Polo Association Championship
Nov. 17, 2010
This weekend, the Air Force water polo team will seek its first conference title since 1994, as it heads to Santa Clara, Calif., for the 2010 Western Water Polo Association Championship, Nov. 19-21. The Falcons, seeded seventh in this weekend’s tournament, will face 10th-seed Chapman in the first game of the championships, slated for 9:00 a.m. (PT) on Friday.
Following is the seeding for this weekend’s conference championship, with national rankings in parentheses:
1. Loyola Marymount (8)
2. UC Davis (12)
3. UC San Diego (11)
4. Santa Clara (14)
7. Air Force
Friday, Nov. 19
Game 1 - 9:00 am - #7 Air Force vs. #10 Chapman
Game 2 - 10:20 am - #8 Redlands vs. #9 Whittier
Game 3 - 11:40 am - #4 Santa Clara vs. #5 Claremont
Game 4 - 1:00 pm - #3 UC San Diego vs. #6 Pomona-Pitzer
Game 5 - 2:20 pm - #2 UC Davis vs. Winner Game 1
Game 6 - 3:40 pm - #1 Loyola Marymount vs. Winner Game 2
Saturday, Nov. 20
Game 7 - 9:00 am - Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 3
Game 8 - 10:20 am - Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 9 - 11:40 am - SEMIFINAL #1 - Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5
Game 10 - 1:00 pm - SEMIFINAL #2 - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 6
Game 11 - 2:20 pm - Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7
Game 12 - 3:40 pm - Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8
Saturday, Nov. 20
Game 13 - 8:00 am - NINTH PLACE - Loser Game 7 vs Loser Game 8
Game 14 - 9:20 am - SEVENTH PLACE - Loser Game 11 vs. Loser Game 12
Game 15 - 10:40 am - FIFTH PLACE - Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12
Game 16 - 12:00 pm - THIRD PLACE - Loser Game 9 vs. Loser Game 10
Game 17 - 1:30 pm - CHAMPIONSHIP - Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10
Last Year at the WWPA’s…
Top-seeded Loyola Marymount capped off its second-straight perfect season against WWPA competition with a win over UC San Diego at the 2009 WWPA Championship, hosted by Chapman.
Meanwhile, Air Force finished sixth after being upset by Whittier in the opening round. The Falcons defeated Redlands in their next game before falling to UC Davis in the fifth-place contest.
Last Time Out...
Air Force went 1-4 in its last five games of the regular season, defeating conference foe La Verne on the road, while falling to Cal Baptist, Concordia, Claremont and UCLA.
Scouting the Falcons…
The seventh-seeded Air Force Falcons, receiving votes in the latest coaches poll, closed out the regular season with a 10-17 overall record and 5-10 mark in the Western Water Polo Association.
Senior Bobby Geiger is the team’s leading scorer with 75 points on the season, including a team-best 62 goals. Senior Kurt Wallin is second on the team with 45 points, including a team-high 31 assists, while sophomore Cruz Smithson is second in goals scored with 29. In addition, sophomore goalkeeper Mike Fish has recorded 203 stops for the Falcons.
Scouting the Lions…
The eighth-ranked Loyola Marymount Lions, seeded first in this year’s WWPA Championship, finished the regular season with a 16-8 overall record and 13-1 mark in the WWPA.
LMU is coached by WWPA Co-Coach of the Year John Loughran, in his 14th season at the helm of the program. Senior Ikaika Aki, who has scored 20 goals and 35 assists on the season, was named the WWPA Player of the Year, while Edgaras Asajavicius and goalkeeper Andy Stevens were named first-team all-conference honorees. Asajavicius is the Lions’ leading goal scorer with 48 goals, while Stevens, a two-time conference player of the year, has notched 240 saves on the season.
Scouting the Aggies…
The 12th-ranked UC Davis Aggies, seeded second in this year’s WWPA Championship, finished the regular season with a 16-9 overall record and 13-1 mark in the WWPA.
UC Davis is coached by WWPA Co-Coach of the Year Steve Doten, in his 10th season at the helm of the program. Three different players have registered at least 50 points on the season, led by Cory Lyle with 55 points (32 g, 23a). Meanwhile, first-team All-WWPA selection Aaron Salit has scored a team-best 44 goals this year.
Scouting the Tritons...
The third-seeded UC San Diego Tritons, ranked 11th in the nation, finished the regular season with a 12-11 overall record and 8-4 mark in the WWPA.
UC San Diego is coached by Denny Harper, in his 31st season at the helm of the program. First-team All-WWPA selection Brian Donohoe is the Tritons’ leading scorer with 42 goals and 18 assists on the season, while senior Ryan Allred has added 29 goals and 23 assists on the year.
Scouting the Broncos...
The host Santa Clara Broncos, ranked 14th nationally and seeded fourth in this year’s tournament, finished the regular season with a 17-14 overall record and 7-7 mark against WWPA foes.
Santa Clara is coached by Keith Wilbur, in his ninth season at the helm of the program. The Broncos are led by junior James Case, who has tallied 54 goals on the season, while seniors Nick Poggetti and Stephen Hobbs have added 36 and 34 goals respectively.
Scouting the Stags...
The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags, seeded fifth in this year’s tournament and receiving votes in this week’s coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 17-12 overall record and 9-7 mark against WWPA foes.
The Stags recently earned the 2010 SCIAC Championship title.
Claremont is coached by Greg Lonzo, in his fourth season at the helm of the program. Among the leaders for the Stags is second-team all-conference selection Brian Chong.
Scouting the Sagehens...
The Pomona-Pizter Sagehens, seeded sixth in this year’s tournament and receiving votes in this week’s coaches poll, enter this weekend with a 16-16 overall record and 9-8 mark against WWPA foes.
Pomona-Pitzer is coached by Alex Rodriguez, in his sixth season at the helm of the program. Among the leaders for the Sagehens are all-conference honorees Ben Hadley and Ryan Balikian, who have scored 48 and 42 goals on the year, respectively.
Scouting the Bulldogs...
The Redlands Bulldogs, seeded eighth in this year’s tournament, enter this weekend with a 18-14 overall record and 9-6 mark against WWPA competition.
Redlands is coached by Tom Whittemore, in his 23rd season at the helm of the program. One of the Bulldogs’ top players is senior Brendan Meaney, a second-team All-WWPA selection.
Scouting the Poets...
The Whittier Poets, seeded ninth in this year’s tournament, enter this weekend with a 13-18 overall ledger and 7-10 mark against WWPA opponents.
Whittier is coached by Justin Pudwill, in his fourth season at the helm of the program. Freshman Erick Gonzalez was named the WWPA Newcomer of the Year, while senior Rilesh Desai also earned all-conference accolades.
Scouting the Panthers...
The Chapman Panthers, seeded 10th in this year’s tournament, enter this weekend with a 11-13 overall record and 3-9 mark against WWPA foes.
Chapman is coached by Eric Ploessel, in his fourth season at the helm of the program. The Panthers are led by honorable mention all-conference selection Chase Parlee, who scored a team-best 63 goals in 2010.
A total of three Air Force players earned recognition from the WWPA this season, led by senior captain Bobby Geiger. Geiger, who leads the team with 62 goals and 75 points, was named a second-team All-WWPA selection, while classmate Kurt Lemmen earned honorable mention all-conference accolades. In addition, rookie Josh Stedman was named to the WWPA All-Freshman team.
In the Record Books...
Senior captain Bobby Geiger continues to move up in the Academy record books, and cracked the top-five on the all-time scoring list with 277 career points (209g, 68a). Geiger needs just three more points to move into a tie for fourth place.
Meanwhile, Geiger also ranks among the top-five goal scorers in school history, as his 209 career goals rate as the fourth-most at the Academy. Going into his final weekend of competition, Geiger needs just two more goals to tie for third place on the list.
The winner of this weekend’s tournament will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, which is being held Dec. 4-5 in Berkeley, Calif.