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Men's Water Polo - Thu, Oct. 12, 2017

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LOS ANGELES - A trio of conference showdowns on Friday highlight this week's schedule in the Golden Coast Conference. With all six teams in the nation's top-20, the match-ups will feature ranked contests.

2017 GCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jacob Mercep led San Jose State to a 3-1 week, including a win over No. 15 California Baptist to lift them to their highest national ranking in program history. Mercep's 20-point performance earns him his second GCC Player of the Week honor for Oct. 12. The Spartans lone setback came to No. 6 UC Irvine while earning wins over the 15th-ranked Lancers, Chapman and 22nd-ranked Whittier. He led Gary Troyer Tournament in goals with 17 in three games. He scored nine goals on 12 shots against No.15 Cal Baptist. Set a San José State single game record with 10 points total in match. He finished the tournament with a .739 shot percentage.

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.)
Oct. 5 - Antoine Lena (UC Irvine)
Oct. 12 - Jacob Mercep (San Jose St.)

THE STATS

Check out the latest stats rankings HERE.

THE POLLS

This week's National Coaches Poll remained the same at the top with Pacific ranked at No.5, followed by No. 6 UC Irvine, No. 7 Long Beach State, No. 8 UC Santa Barbara, and No. 9 Pepperdine. San Jose State moved up two spots from No. 18 to No. 16 after their 3-1 week.

COMING UP

This is a nine-game week for the GCC. Friday features three GCC match-ups, starting with No. 7 Long Beach State traveling to No. 9 Pepperdine at 4 pm. A pair of 7 pm match-ups has No. 6 UC Irvine traveling to No. 5 Pacific and No. 8 UC Santa Barbara heading to No. 16 San Jose State. The weekend continues with four non-conference match-ups on Saturday, including UCSB at No. 4 Stanford, UCI at No. 3 Cal and the 49ers at No. 2 UCLA. On Sunday, San Jose State travels to Cal and Wednesday UC San Diego visits Long Beach State, check-out the full schedule:

AROUND THE LEAGUE:

LONG BEACH STATE
No. 7 Long Beach State hits the road this weekend for a Golden Coast Conference match-up against No. 9 Pepperdine before heading to Los Angeles to face No. 2 UCLA Saturday night. Austin Stewart leads the team with 31 points and 29 goals, which is ranked eighth in the GCC. Nemanja Bakic has 24 goals with five assists.

PACIFIC
The No. 5 Pacific men's water polo team returns to Golden Coast Conference play on Friday, as the Tigers welcome No. 6 UC Irvine to Chris Kjeldsen Pool for a 7 p.m. start. A pre-game tailgate will be held for fans and the game will feature a giveaway of mini water polo balls. The Tigers remained No. 5 in Wednesday's edition of the CWPA Top 20 poll, as they enter the weekend at 12-3 overall, and 1-0 in the GCC. UC Irvine is ranked No. 6 at 10-4 on the year, also 1-0 in the GCC. Luke Pavillard is third in the GCC with 46 goals while Engin Ege Colak is fifth with 43.

PEPPERDINE
Marko Asic had five goals during the week in losses to UC Santa Barbara and UCLA. Asic led the Waves in points with five. Mark Urban had three goals and one assist, netting him four points on the week. Asic is second in the WCC with 47 goals while Mark Urban is second in the league with 25 assists.

SAN JOSE STATE
The Spartans are 8-7, 0-3 in the Golden Coast Conference this season. It is the most wins the program has had since its return in 2015 under head coach Bruce Watson. In the last seven matches the Spartans are 5-2. The Spartans are led by freshman Jacob Mercep who has 56 goals in 14 games, leading the GCC. Mercep, a true freshman from Croatia, is second in the conference in total points with 67.

UC IRVINE
Jack Trush led UCI with three goals in a 13-4 victory over San Jose State in the GCC season opener. Trush helped the Anteaters to eight unanswered goals, including a 6-0 run in the third period, which broke open the game. Trush is third on the team with 16 goals. After scoring only twice in the first five games, the All-American has now racked up 14 goals in the last nine matches. Lovre Milos is tops in the league with 78 points, sitting third in goals with 46.The Anteaters have won three straight and are 10-4 overall.

UC SANTA BARBARA
The Gauchos are ranked eighth nationally and travel to San Jose State on Friday. They will also travel to No. 4 Stanford on Saturday. Ivan Gvozdanovic leads the team with 24 goals and 34 points. Shane Hauschild is in the top-10 within the GCC with 17 steals and 14 assists.