Nov. 20, 2013
The Air Force water polo team heads to Davis, Calif., this week, Nov. 22-24, for the 2013 Western Water Polo Association Championship. The Falcons, seeded fifth in this year's tournament, will face fourth-seed Loyola Marymount in the first game of the tournament, slated to begin at 12:15 p.m. (PT) on Friday.
Tournament host UC Davis, currently ranked 11th in the country, enters this week's championship as the top seed. Tenth-ranked UC San Diego is seeded second, followed by No. 14 Santa Clara, No. 15 Loyola Marymount, Air Force and Cal Baptist.
Friday, Nov. 22
Game 1 - No. 4 Loyola Marymount vs. No. 5 Air Force - 12:15 pm
Game 2 - No. 3 Santa Clara vs. No. 6 Cal Baptist - 2:00 pm
Saturday, Nov. 23
Game 3 - No. 1 UC Davis vs. lowest-seeded advancing team - 12:15 pm
Game 4 - No. 2 UC San Diego vs. highest-seeded advancing team - 2:00 pm
Sunday, Nov. 24
Fifth Place - Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 - 10:30 am
Third Place - Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 - 12:15 pm
Championship - Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 - 2:00 pm
LAST YEAR AT THE WWPA'S...
Air Force, seeded third, claimed a 9-7 victory over top-seed UC San Diego to capture the 2012 WWPA Championship and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. It marked the Falcons' third WWPA title in school history and their first since 1994.
The Falcons opened the tournament with a dominant 14-6 win over sixth-seed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, before handing second-seeded Loyola Marymount a 10-9 loss in the semi-finals.
LAST TIME OUT...
The Falcons closed out the regular season with a pair of conference road losses, falling to 16th-ranked Santa Clara and 12th-ranked UC Davis, both by 13-7 tallies. Senior co-captain Max Reilly scored a team-high three goals on the weekend, while sophomore Ben Rogers added two goals and an assist and freshman Robby Stiefel tallied a goal and two assists.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS...
The fifth-seeded Air Force Falcons, receiving votes in the latest national coaches poll, finished the regular season with a 5-13 overall record and a 1-4 mark in the WWPA.
Senior Josh Stedman currently leads the Falcons with 54 points on the season, including a team-high 41 goals, while junior Dominic Vicino (18g, 14a) and senior Brad Duncan (9g, 22a) have added 32 and 31 points, respectively.
SCOUTING THE LIONS...
The Loyola Marymount Lions, ranked 15th in the latest coaches poll, ended the regular season with a 12-13 overall record and 2-3 mark in the WWPA.
First-team all-conference honoree Milutin Mitrovic leads the Lions with 62 goals and 36 assists on the season, while WWPA Newcomer of the Year Cory McGee added 20 goals and 29 steals on the year. In addition, freshman goalkeeper Kirk Wilenius was named to the WWPA second team after recording 184 saves on the season.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES...
The UC Davis Aggies, ranked 11th in the latest coaches poll, finished the regular season with a 13-12 overall record on the year and perfect 5-0 mark in WWPA competition.
Leading the way for UC Davis this year are WWPA Player of the Year Bernie Rogers and second-team all-conference honorees Trevor Allen and Chris Richardson. Rogers has registered a team-leading 73 points and 30 assists on the season, while Richardson has scored a team-best 48 goals. Meanwhile, Allen has contributed 36 goals and 45 total points on the year.
SCOUTING THE TRITONS...
The UC San Diego Tritons, ranked 10th in the latest coaches poll, closed out the regular season with a 12-13 overall record and 4-1 mark in the WWPA.
The Tritons are led by first-team All-WWPA selections Joe Dietrich and Cameron Ravanbach and second-team all-conference honoree Tommy Friedrich. Ravanbach, UCSD's starting goalkeeper, tallied 245 saves on the season, while Dietrich registered 42 goals and 28 assists to help lead the Tritons' offense. Meanwhile, Friedrich tallied a team-best 43 goals en route to his all-conference recognition.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS...
The Santa Clara Broncos, ranked 14th in the latest coaches poll, ended the regular season with a 15-14 overall record and 3-2 mark in the WWPA.
Goalkeeper Matt Pritchett was tabbed a first-team All-WWPA honoree, recording 321 saves on the season, while senior Tucker Carlson, an honorable mention all-conference selection, leads Santa Clara's offense with 39 goals on the year.
SCOUTING THE LANCERS...
The Cal Baptist Lancers, receiving votes in the latest coaches poll, wrapped up the regular season with a 15-15 overall record and 0-5 ledger in the WWPA.
Senior Matt Puig, a first-team All-WWPA honoree, leads the Lancers with 66 goals on the season, while David Rodriguez earned second-team honors with a team-leading 65 steals. In addition, freshman goalkeeper Joseph Moorman was named to the All-WWPA second-team, registering 240 saves in 18 games.
A TOP SCORER...
In the Falcons' last weekend of competition, senior Josh Stedman claimed sole possession of fifth place on Air Force's career goals list, with 177 career goals. In addition, Stedman also ranks in the top 10 on the Falcons' career scoring list, sitting in ninth place with 244 career points (177g, 66a). He needs just one more point to move into a tie with Bill Monroe (`76) for eighth place on the list.
Three Air Force players earned recognition from the WWPA this season, led by senior captain Josh Stedman, who earned first-team All-WWPA honors for the third time in his career. Stedman becomes just the fourth Falcon to become a three-time first-team all-conference selection, and the first since Brian Pendergast and Craig Thomas in 1996.
The winner of this week's tournament will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, which is being held Dec. 7-8 in Palo Alto, Calif.