Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LA VERNE, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team continues to face tough competition as they again took on two Nationally Ranked Division I opponents during the Inland Empire Classic.
Whittier opened up the Classic against No. 6 Long Beach State (15-3) before taking on No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (24-5). The Purple & Gold are now 1-4 on the season.
Game 1 (No. 6 Long Beach State; L, 15-3)
Whittier proved tough over the first eight minutes taking a 2-1 lead over the 49ers with goals coming from Carlos Heredia Viteri (Commerce, Calif.) and Ricardo Reyes Jr. (Commerce, Calif.). The Poets added another in the second from Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) but they gave up four to LBSU going into the break down 5-3.
In the second half it was all Long Beach State outscoring WC 10-0 en route to the lopsided victory.
Whittier was outshot 26-15 and was 0-8 on power play opportunities.
Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) played all 32:00 minutes in goal finishing with three saves and two steals.
Game 2 (UC Santa Barbara; L, 24-5)
The Gauchos held a slight 3-0 lead to start things off until the Poets were able to bounce back with two of their own in the second quarter from Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.) and Tyler Chung (La Canada, Calif.).
Out of the break, Whittier was able to tack on another two this time from Quinn LaCoursiere (Delray Beach, FL) and Heredia Viteri but they still saw themselves trailing 16-4.
Then in the final frame, the Gauchos continued to pour it on adding another eight, while Whittier's Kalani Fouts (Capitola, Calif.) was able to add the final tally.
Whittier took 13 shots for the game and was 2-11 on man-up opportunities. Ersoz again played all 32:00 minutes finishing with six saves.
Whittier returns to the pool next weekend, September 15-16 when they travel up north to take part in the AGGIE Round-Up hosted by UC Davis. There they will take on No. 16 Cal Baptist, No. 18 George Washington, No. 1 USC, and Harvard.