Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team continues to roll as they advanced to the Division III National Collegiate Water Polo Championship Game following a 12-8 victory over MIT Saturday.
The Purple & Gold opened up the National Championships as the top seed and faced off against No. 4 MIT. They keep their winning streak intact at six games as they improve to 20-12, 13-1 SCIAC. They advance to the Championship game set for tomorrow, Sunday, December 8 at 12:30pm against No. 3 Claremont-M-S.
Junior Eric Borunda (Whittier, Calif.) got things started for the Purple & Gold with an assisted tally from Micah Kamai (Irvine, Calif.). After the next six minutes of being held scoreless the Poets added the go-ahead goal once again at the 1:13 mark from Cornelis Kriek (Pretoria, South Africa) inside set. MIT though was able to respond getting the equalizer from Schillinger with under :20 seconds remaining.
Maxwell Murphy (Orinda, Calif.) and Borunda went back to back to open things up in the 2nd Quarter with both feeds coming from Kaan Hamurculu (Istanbul, Turkey) and Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden). MIT stopped the run thanks to Clyde Huilbregtse but again WC was able to get two straight this time from Zdolsek and Ricardo Reyes Jr. (Commerce, Calif.) that moved the score to 6-3. The Engineers responded on their next possession down from Miller Geschke but saw Whittier move the deficit back to three with :12 seconds to play in the half as Zdolsek would get fed by Borunda.
MIT came out of the break scoring two of the first three goals to make it a two-goal differential, but a 3-0 run by the Purple & Gold with goals coming from Kriek and Dominick Nevarez (Norwalk, Calif.) would open the game up. The Engineers made one final push with two of their own midway through the fourth from Kevin Downey and Geschke. But a 6-on-5 connection from Reyes Jr. would seal the deal for the Poets.
Whittier outshot MIT 30-27 and were just 3-for-11 on power-plays. They also were stopped on two 5-meter penalties.
Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) played all 32:00 minutes and finished with 14 saves. Borunda had a strong stat line finishing with two goals and three assists. Zdolsek tacked on a pair of goals and an assist and Kamai posted a goal, an assist and four steals.