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Men's Water Polo - Thu, Sep. 7, 2017

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LOS ANGELES - Labor Day Weekend brought a busy first week to the 2017 national collegiate water polo season, and the Golden Coast Conference had a big start to its second season.

Pacific and Pepperdine both played at the Brown Bruno Classic in Providence, RI and come home with four wins. Long Beach picked up three wins at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational to start the season 3-1. San Jose State defeated Santa Clara in their lone game to start the season. UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara both finished 2-2 at the Triton Invite.

2017 GCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Senior Kale Ai has been named the first GCC Player of the Week of 2017 after leading the Tigers to the four-win start. He scored 15 goals with 10 assists in four games at the Bruno Bruno Classic. Ai racked up his 15 goals on just 17 shots (.882 percentage). He posted a career-high six goals against No. 14 Bucknell as he led the Tigers with 10 points. He added a five-goal game against Wagner, and handed out two assists each in the Tigers final three games of the tournament.

Past Winners:
Sept. 7 - Kale Ai (Pacific)

THE POLLS

In the 2017 Men's Varsity Top-20 for Sept. 6 Pacific remains ranked fifth overall. Long Beach State, thanks to their results at the Triton Invite, move up two spots in a tie for sixth with fellow GCC rival UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos were sixth by themselves last week. Pepperdine moves fro seventh to eighth in the poll with the 49ers moving up. UC Irvine moves up two spots from 13th to a tie for 11th with Princeton. San Jose State remains in the poll, receiving votes.

COMING UP

Week two of the season is much lighter. Pepperdine will host the GCC vs. WWPA Challenge as the Waves and Anteaters take on WWPA foes LMU and UC San Diego on Saturday, Sept. 9. The Waves host LMU at 10 am followed by UCI and UCSD facing off at 11:30 am. The teams switch in the afternoon with the Waves and Tritons at 3:30 pm and UCI taking on LMU at 5 pm.

Pepperdine will then play three games at the Inland Empire Tournament on Sunday. Playing in the tournament on Saturday will be UCSB and Long Beach State. Other action has San Jose State traveling to UC Davis and Pacific at top-ranked Cal. Both of those games are on Saturday, Here is a look at the schedule:

DateTimeMatch-up  ScoreNote
LAST WEEK…     
Sept. 27:30 AMMIT vs. (7) Pepperdine5-15Brown Bruno Classic
 8:15 AM(14) Bucknell vs. (5) Pacific5-23Brown Bruno Classic
 9:15 AM(RV) Air Force @ (8) Long Beach State5-17Triton Invitational
 9:45 AMFresno Pacific University vs. (13) UC Irvine1-20Triton Invitational
 10:45 AMCUI vs. (6) UCSB11-15Triton Invitational
 1:15 PM(9) UC Davis vs. (8) Long Beach State10-13Triton Invitational
 1:30 PM(10) Harvard vs. (7) Pepperdine7-16Brown Bruno Classic
 2:30 PMWagner College vs. (5) Pacific6-22Brown Bruno Classic
2:30 PMSan Jose State @ West Valley College13-6 
 2:45 PM(6) UCSB vs. (13) UC Irvine14-12Triton Invitational
 4:00 PM(RV) Santa Clara @ (RV) San Jose State7-11 
Sept. 35:00 AM(5) Pacific @ (15) Brown University24-8Brown Bruno Classic
 6:15 AM(14) Bucknell vs. (7) Pepperdine9-15Brown Bruno Classic
 8:00 AM(9) UC Davis vs. (13) UC Irvine10-8Triton Invitational
 8:45 AM(7) Pepperdine @ (15) Brown University11-9 (OT)Brown Bruno Classic
 9:15 AM(1) California vs. (8) Long Beach State14-7Triton Invitational
 9:30 AM(1) California vs. (8) UCSB8-7Triton Invitational
 11:30 AM(19) St. Francis vs. (5) Pacific7-18Brown Bruno Classic
 4:00 PM(13) UC Irvine @ (12) UC San Diego13-2Triton Invitational
 5:15 PM(6) UCSB vs. (8) Long Beach State6-9Triton Invitational
COMING UP…     
Sept. 910:00 AMLMU @ Pepperdine GCC vs WWPA Challenge
 10:15 AMPomona-Pitzer vs. UCSB Inland Empire - Game time is 10:20 am
 11:00 AMPacific @ California  
 11:30 AMUC San Diego vs. UC Irvine GCC vs WWPA Challenge
 12:00 PMLong Beach State @ Redlands Inland Empire 
 1:00 PMSan Jose State @ UC Davis  
 1:15 PMOccidental vs. UCSB Inland Empire - Game time is 1:20 pm
 3:00 PMPomona-Pitzer vs. Long Beach State Inland Empire 
 3:30 PMUC San Diego @ Pepperdine GCC vs WWPA Challenge
 5:00 PMLMU vs. UC Irvine GCC vs WWPA Challenge
Sept. 109:00 AMPepperdine @ Redlands Inland Empire 
 11:45 AMCUI vs. Pepperdine Inland Empire - game time at 11:40 am
 2:15 PMClaremont-Mudd-Scripps vs. Pepperdine Inland Empire - game time at 2:20 pm

AROUND THE LEAGUE:

LONG BEACH STATE
Long Beach State went 3-1 on the opening weekend included wins over Air Force (17-5), ninth-ranked UC Davis (13-10) and UCSB. They fell to top-ranked Cal, 14-7. Leading the way was Austin Stewart. Over the weekend at the Triton Invitational he scored nine goals including five against UC Davis.

PACIFIC
The fifth-ranked Tigers, who returned more than 70 percent of their offense from last season, picked up from where they left off. They earned a 23-5 win over No. Bucknell, 22-6 over Wagner, 24-8 over host and 15th-ranked Brown and an 18-7 win over 19th-ranked St. Francis.

PEPPERDINE
Pepperdine's unbeaten start to the season was led by senior Marko Asic. He scored a hat trick in each game, giving him 12 goals on the weekend. He also assisted on 7 goals, thus being partially responsible for 19 of the Waves goals on the weekend. The Waves had wins over MIT, 10th-ranked Harvard, an 11-9 overtime win over Brown and 14th-ranked Buckenll.

SAN JOSE STATE
The San José State Spartans had a 11-7 comeback win against the Santa Clara Broncos Saturday at West Valley College. Coach Bruce Watson is now 3-0 in opening games against Santa Clara as a Spartan. Santa Clara had the lead 6-2 going into halftime with the help of three Sam Toriggino goals.

UC IRVINE
Goalkeeper Matej Matijevic recorded 48 saves over four games at the Triton Invitational last weekend. The senior tied his career-high with 18 saves against No. 6 UC Santa Barbara then had 12 saves in an upset over host No. 12 UC San Diego.

UC SANTA BARBARA
The Gauchos defeated Concordia 15-11 and UC Irvine 14-12 in the opening round of the UCSD Triton Invitational to move into the championship bracket. They fell to No. 1 Cal 8-7 and then to the 49ers, 9-6.