Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team wrapped up the Gary Troyer Memorial Invite Saturday splitting on the day beating Johns Hopkins 13-10 before falling to Air Force 13-8.
The Purple & Gold finish the invite 1-3 despite facing three Top 20 opponents. They drop to 7-10, 3-0 SCIAC.
Game 1 (Johns Hopkins; W, 13-10)
Whittier looked to get back on track to start Day 2 of the invite in a Div. III showdown with Johns Hopkins. The Poets got off to a strong start with two straight from Dominick Nevarez (Norwalk, Calif.) and Carlos Heredia Viteri (Commerce, Calif.). But the Bluejays were able to counter with two of their own that tied things up. With 2:29 to play in the opening frame Heredia Viteri added his second of the game and was joined with a set goal from Micah Kamai (Irvine, Calif.). This put WC on top 4-2 and they didn't look back as they strung together a 9-1 run that spanned into the 3rd quarter moving the score to 11-3.
The Poets outscored the Bluejays 5-1 across the second eight-minute segment with goals coming from Kamai, Nevarez, Ricardo Reyes Jr. (Commerce, Calif.), and Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.) (5-Meter). JHU got two back in the 3rd quarter that cut the deficit to six but with a :01 left in the frame Heredia Viteri added another that pushed the advantage back to seven.
Malcolm Niskey (El Cajon, Calif.) got the scoring started in the 4th with an even connection but after that it was all Johns Hopkins as they put together a comeback with five straight that made it a three-goal differential.
Whittier was outshot on the game 31-15 and was just 2-for-10 on power plays. Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) played all 32:00 minutes and finished with three saves. Heredia Viteri, Kamai, and Nevarez each finished with three goals apiece and Borunda with two. Reyes Jr., Cornelis Kriek (Pretoria, South Africa), Toby Chung (La Canada, calif.), Borunda, and Kamai each added assists for the game.
Game 2 (Air Force; L, 13-8)
The final match-up of the Invite came against Air Force who entered the Memorial receiving votes in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Polls. The Falcons were forced to play from behind but rallied to pull off the win. Whittier led 3-1 midway through the 1st quarter with Maxwell Murphy (Orinda, Calif.), Nevarez, and Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) connecting. Enrico Antunes (Sao Paulo, Brazil) added the fourth tally of the frame coming with :26 seconds remaining.
It was low scoring in the 2nd quarter with a combined three goals being added as Whittier took a 5-4 lead into the break. Kamai would add the lone score in the period.
The story of the game was the 3rd quarter as Air Force came out outscoring the Poets 5-1, which proved the difference. Borunda added the first goal to stretch the lead to two but after that the Falcons went on a 7-0 run that stretched into the 4th quarter. This also moved the score to 11-6. Borunda and Nevarez stopped the run with back-to-back answers to cut the margin to three but that's as close as WC would get as Air Force would add another two to end the come from behind victory.
Whittier outshot Air Force 34-31 and was 0-for-8 on power plays. Ersoz picked up 13 saves and three steals between the posts and Borunda and Nevarez each finished with two goals and a steal. Borunda also had a pair of assists.
Whittier returns to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play this Wednesday, October 9 when they host Chapman University beginning at 7:00pm.