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GCC WEEKLY UPDATE: Spartansí Jacob Mercep has big MPSF Tournament to earn GCC Player of the Week honors.
GCC WEEKLY UPDATE: Spartansí Jacob Mercep has big MPSF Tournament to earn GCC Player of the Week honors.
Men's Water Polo - Thu, Sep. 28, 2017

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LOS ANGELES - The month of September set a torrid pace for the first four weeks of the 2017 national collegiate water polo season with tournaments dominating action. As the calendar turns to October, the final day of the opening month will bring just five games on this week's slate. However, all five feature top-20 match-ups.

2017 GCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

San Jose State's Jacob Mercep exploded over the weekend, leading all players with 22 goals to earn GCC Player of the Week honors for Sept. 28. Mercep led the Spartans' continued strong play as they finished with a pair of wins in the loaded 16-team MPSF Invitational. Mercep scored six goals against No.2 USC, No.7 UCSB, and No.19 Pomona-Pitzer. On the last day of the MPSF he scored four times in win over Air Force.

Past Winners:
Sept. 7 - Kale Ai (Pacific)
Sept. 14 - Sam Paur (Pepperdine)
Sept. 21 - Engin Ege Colak (Pacific)
Sept. 28 - Jacob Mercep (San Jose St.)

THE POLLS

All six GCC men's water polo teams find themselves in this week's top-20 as announced in the latest 2017 Men's Varsity Top-20 Coaches' Poll. The biggest movers were UC Irvine and San Jose State. A strong showing at the MPSF Invitational last weekend pushed the Anteaters three spots from No. 10 to No. 7. The Spartans continue to improve game to game and went from receiving one vote last week to all the way to No. 18 this week. The GCC holds five of the top-10 thanks to No. 5 Pacific, No. 6 Long Beach State, the Anteaters at seven, UC Santa Barbara at No. 8 and Pepperdine at No. 9.

 

COMING UP

It will be the lightest week of the season with just five games on the slate, all on Saturday, Sept. 30. However, they all feature top-10 match-ups, including a big match-up for the first GCC contest of the season that will feature No. 5 Pacific taking on No. 6 Long Beach State. The 49ers host the TIgers at 7 pm to close out the opening month of the season. Other match-ups feature No. 18 San Jose State traveling to No.4 Stanford at 11 am. No. 2 USC will travel to No. 9 Pepperdine at 12 noon. Third-ranked Cal will travel down to No. 8 UCSB and top-ranked UCLA heads to No. 7 UC Irvine at 1 pm. Here is the full schedule for the week plus last week's results:

DateTimeMatch-up  ScoreNote
LAST WEEK…     
Sept. 221:00 PM(RV) San Jose State vs. (2) USC9-18MPSF Invitational
 1:15 PM(8) UC Davis vs. (9) Pepperdine11-12 (OT)MPSF Invitational
 2:15 PM(7) UCSB vs. (10) UC Irvine8-11MPSF Invitational
 4:00 PM(13) UC San Diego vs. (5) Pacific8-21MPSF Invitational
 4:45 PM(12) Princeton vs. (6) Long Beach State8-11MPSF Invitational
Sept. 239:00 AM(8) Pepperdine vs. (1) California10-12MPSF Invitational
 10:15 AMPacific vs. (4) UCLA8-9MPSF Invitational
 10:45 AM(RV) San Jose State vs. (7) UCSB12-13MPSF Invitational
 11:30 AM(10) UC Irvine @ (2) USC9-10MPSF Invitational
 12:45 PM(6) Long Beach State vs. (3) Stanford6-9MPSF Invitational
 2:00 PM(9) Pepperdine vs. (5) Pacific10-12MPSF Invitational
 4:00 PM(RV) Pomona-Pitzer vs. (RV) San Jose State8-13MPSF Invitational
 4:30 PM(10) UC Irvine vs. (6) Long Beach State7-12MPSF Invitational
 5:15 PM(12) Princeton vs. (7) UCSB7-14MPSF Invitational
Sept. 2410:00 AM(10) UC Irvine vs. (9) Pepperdine8-7 (3OT)MPSF Invitational
 11:30 AMAir Force @ San Jose State6-9MPSF Invitational
 11:30 AM(6) Long Beach State vs. (5) Pacific10-13MPSF Invitational
 2:30 PM(8) UC Davis vs. (7) UCSB9-12MPSF Invitational
COMING UP….     
Sept. 3011:00 AMSan Jose State @ Stanford  
 12:00 PMUSC @ Pepperdine  
 12:00 PMCalifornia @ UCSB  
 1:00 PMUCLA @ UC Irvine  
 7:00 PMPacific @ Long Beach State GCC Match

AROUND THE LEAGUE:

LONG BEACH STATE
Senior Duncan Lynde led the 49ers at the MPSF Invitational last weekend, scoring nine goals as Long Beach State went 2-2 in the loaded tournament. The 49ers claimed an 11-8 win over No. 12 Princeton and a 12-7 win over then No. 10 UCI. The Anteaters host top-ranked UCLA at 1 pm Saturday.

PACIFIC
Luke Pavillard scored 16 goals in four games at the MPSF Invitational, with a hat trick or more in all four games. He scored four goals each against #4 UCLA and #13 UC San Diego, five in a win over #9 Pepperdine, and three against #6 Long Beach State. He also added two assists against LBSU. For the weekend, he scored on 45.7 percent of his shots and added six steals on defense. The Tigers travel to Long Beach on Saturday for the first GCC match-up of the season. Game time is set at 7 pm Saturday.

PEPPERDINE
Mark Urban led Pepperdine with seven goals and four assists, to lead the Waves with 11 points on the weekend. The Waves took 8th place in the MPSF Invitational. The Waves defeated No. 8 UC Davis 12-11 in overtime and then fell to three top-10 opponents by a combined five goals. They host No. 2 USC on Saturday.

SAN JOSE STATE
The Spartans have been turning heads in tournament play the last two weeks. The Spartans defeated Pomona-Pitzer and Air Force last weekend to finish 2-2 in the MPSF Invitational. Mercep's six goals against USC are the most goals the program has given up to a single player since Pacific's, Balazs Erdelyi, scored seven on December, 8 2013. Mercep averaged 5.5 goals per game in the MPSF tournament shooting 47 times with a shot percentage of .468. The Spartans travel to Stanford on Saturday.

UC IRVINE
Senior Lovre Milos led the Anteaters last week, posting a season-high seven goals against Cal Baptist on Wednesday and then totaling 11 goals over four games at the MPSF Invitational. Milos' 11 goals over the weekend was the sixth most in the tournament, where the Anteaters went 2-2, narrowly falling to USC 10-9. He has led UC Irvine in scoring in 10 of the team's 12 games and has found the back of the cage at least four times in seven matches. Milos is tops on the team with 43 goals, 12 assists and 20 steals.

UC SANTA BARBARA
Shane Hauschild led the No. 7 UCSB water polo team to a 3-1 record at the prestigious MPSF Invitational over the weekend with wins over San Jose State, No. 12 Princeton and No. 9 UC Davis. The senior scored six goals while adding seven steals and six assists. Hauschild ramped up his play in the final two matches of the tournament, tallying two goals, three assists and two steals against Princeton before recording another pair of goals, two assists and four steals against UC Davis.