Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
DAVIS, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team had a huge Day 1 of the AGGIE Invitational Saturday pulling off an upset victory over No. 18 California Baptist University 12-11 before nearly pulling off their second stunner as they fell 9-8 to No. 15 George Washington University.
The Poets who boast the toughest Division III schedule in the country moves to 2-5 on the season.
Game 1 (No. 18 California Baptist University; W, 12-11)
The first quarter was deadlocked at three. Sophomore Carlos Heredia Viteri (Commerce, Calif.) tied things up early converting a penalty and freshman Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.) and sophomore Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden) would go back to back to even the contest up after the first eight minutes.
It was a low scoring affair in the second with both teams combining for three goals with WC holding the edge 2-1. Heredia Viteri tacked on the first and Borunda would give the Poets a one goal lead at the break.
Out of the half, CBU provided a push adding three tallies but were unable to stop the Poet offense as they provided another four connections from Kalani Fouts (Capitola, Calif.), Borunda, and Ricardo Reyes Jr. (Commerce, Calif.) to hold the two goal advantage.
Over the final eight minutes the Lancers attempted a comeback outscoring the Poets 4-3 but it would fall short as Tyler Chung (La Canada, Calif.), and Borunda would secure the upset victory.
Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) played all 32:00 minutes between the posts and finished with seven saves. Borunda finished with six goals.
Game 2 (No. 15 George Washington; L, 9-8)
Whittier looked to secure their second upset on the day starting off strong against George Washington outscoring them 4-1 in the first quarter behind two connections from Nick Hyden (Melbourne, Australia) and another two from Zdolsek and Reyes Jr.
Emilio Maldonado (Chula Vista, Calif.) provided his first goal of the weekend at the 1:47 mark in the second to give WC a two goal lead at the break. But this advantage wouldn't hold as GW would come out in the third and tack on four goals, while holding Whittier to just one. This swung the momentum giving George Washington their first lead at 7-6.
In the fourth, Whittier managed to tie things up at 8-8 thanks to Zdolsek and Heredia Viteri but the eventual game winner would come with 3:46 to play as GW was able to connect at even strength. The Poets had one final look with just over two minutes to play getting a man-up opportunity but could not convert as GW would hold on for the one-goal victory.
Ersoz again played the entire game finishing with 12 saves.
Whittier wraps up the AGGIE Invite tomorrow, Sunday, September 16 when they take on USC (10:45am) and Harvard (1:15pm).