Tigers Jump Two Spots To No. 4 In CWPA Poll
Nov. 17, 2010
Stockton, Calif. – For the second consecutive week, Pacific’s men’s water polo team improved its national ranking in the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s (CWPA) Top-20 Poll. After spending one week as the No. 6 team in the nation, the Tigers have jumped two spots to No. 4 in the latest poll released by the CWPA.
This is Pacific’s highest ranking since the 2006 squad’s No. 5 ranking in the CWPA’s preseason poll. Additionally this is the first time in program history the Tigers have been ranked as the CWPA’s No.4 team in the nation since the weekly poll began in 1995.
“We are very excited about being ranked No. 4. We’ve worked very hard this season to get here although the season is not over there is plenty of work to be done,” said head coach James Graham. “We will go out during these last few weeks and prove that we deserve to be among the nation’s elite.”
Pacific jumped two spots after going 1-1 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action over the weekend. The Tigers nearly upset No. 1 California on Saturday, November 13. In the contest, Pacific led 8-7 heading into the final eight minutes of regulation. Trailing 7-6 heading in to the third quarter, freshman Balazs Erdelyi (Eger, Hungary) tied the game at 7-7 with 7:03 remaining on the clock. Senior Austin Delong (Houston, Texas) then put Pacific up 8-7 with his second goal of the contest at the 4:55 mark.
However, California tallied three goals in the final frame to overcome a one point deficit and defeat the Tigers 10-8. Goran Tomasevic (Split, Croatia) scored a pair of goals in the contest while Joey Gullikson (Sonoma, Calif.), Tom Koning (Poway, Calif.) and Tyler Reardon (Oak Park, Calif.) found the back of the net once.
On Sunday, November 14, the Tigers then traveled to Stanford, Calif., to take on No. 3 Stanford. The Tigers first half against the Cardinal was filled with five lead changes and four tied moments before Pacific would take its first lead of the game. Down by one goal at the 4:43 mark, Gullikson tied the game at four all with his third goal of the contest. The Tigers never looked back once they gained the one point advantage on Erdelyi’s first goal of the day at the 4:03 point.
Pacific went on to upset the Cardinal 10-9 behind Gullikson’s five goals. Also scoring in the contest for the Tigers were Delong, Reardon and Tomasevic. The 10-9 victory over Stanford marked Pacific’s first conference win against the Cardinal since the 2006 season when the Tigers pulled out an 11-10 win in OT.
To date, the Tigers’ win over Stanford marks head coach James Graham’s biggest victory since taking over the helm of the men’s water polo program. For Pacific’s achievement in addition to a stellar five goal performance from Gullikson, Pacific’s men’s water polo team was featured in Trevor Freeman’s latest men’s water polo notebook on NCAA.com. In this week’s edition of Freeman’s notebook, Gullikson was named player of the week for his five goals against the Cardinal.
Pacific takes on No. 9 Long Beach State on Saturday, November 20, in Long Beach, Calif., at 12 p.m.
CWPA Top-20 Poll
|Rank||Team||Nov. 10 Poll||Points|
|1||University of California||1||100|
|2||University of Southern California||2||95|
|3||University of California, Los Angeles||4||89|
|4||University of the Pacific||6||84|
|6||University of California, Irvine||5||77|
|7||University of California, Santa Barbara||7||70|
|8||Loyola Marymount University||8||65|
|9||Long Beach State University||9||59|
|11||University of California, San Diego||11||49|
|12||University of California, Davis||14||44|
|13||St. Francis College (N.Y.)||13||41|
|14||Santa Clara University||12||35|
|16||California Baptist University||15||25|
|18||United States Naval Academy||18||17|
|19||Concordia University (Calif.)||20(T)||8|
|RV||United States Air Force Academy||RV||1|
|RV||Johns Hopkins University||RV||1|