Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – It was a high scoring affair Wednesday night as the Whittier College Men's Water Polo team clinched a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season Tournament berth following a lopsided 18-10 victory over Occidental College.
The Purple & Gold have won two of their last three and improve to 14-13, 9-4 SCIAC. They currently sit 3rd in the SCIAC Standings. With a win this Saturday against the University of Redlands the Poets secure the No. 3 seed but with a loss they drop to No. 4.
Whittier rattled off the opening four goals from Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden), Marc-Andre Roy (Montreal, Canada), and Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.). The Tigers stopped the run with two straight but again WC would tack on another three from Cornelis Kriek (Pretoria, South Africa), Carlos Heredia Viteri (Commerce, Calif.), and Ricardo Reyes Jr. (Commerce, Calif.) to move the score to 7-2.
Over the final five minutes of the half, Oxy provided a push outscoring the Purple & Gold 3-1 cutting the deficit to three but that's as close as they would get as Whittier would score seven of the first eight goals of the second half that put the game out of reach.
During the run, all seven goals came from seven different players, including Nick Hyden (Melbourne, Australia), Borunda, Roy, Heredia Viteri, Kalani Fouts (Capitola, Calif.), Reyes Jr., and Andrew Valencia (La Mirada, Calif.). The Tigers made another push late in the third quarter adding back to back connections but the comeback was too late as Zdolsek and Borunda would add two over the final eight minutes that secured the lopsided victory.
Whittier was outshot 35-30 and was 3-for-4 on power-plays. Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) picked up the win collecting five saves and a steal, while Eliott Bergerson (Whittier, Calif.) added another six stops.
Whittier wraps up their regular season this Saturday, November 10 as they host the University of Redlands with seeding implications on the line.