Sunday, September 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Aggies confident for WWPA tournament

By
From page B1 | November 15, 2012 |

UCD senior Matt Vowell, an All-WWPA first-teamer, leads the Aggies into this weekend's conference tournament. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

The UC Davis men’s water polo team knows from experience that just one goal can make or break an entire season of hard work and dedication.

With this thought ever-present in the Aggies’ minds, they depart for Los Angeles to compete in the Western Water Polo Association Tournament this weekend at Whittier College.

Working in favor of the fourth-seeded UCD squad is a favorable opening matchup. The locals face off Friday with No. 5 Santa Clara, a team they have already defeated three times in 2012.

But the Aggies — who are ranked 16th in the nation — cannot breathe easy, because they know an encounter with top-seeded UC San Diego looms. The 10th-ranked Tritons bested UCD, 11-8, in a Nov. 1 meeting, and feature the WWPA Player of the Year in junior Josh Stilling.

The competition is fierce because only one team from the conference can earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, hosted by USC on Dec. 1-2.

The Aggies are all too aware of this reality. In 2011, UCD battled through Air Force and Loyola Marymount to get to the WWPA title match, where it fell to UCSD by just one goal in an 8-7 heartbreaker.

Head coach Steve Doten said his Aggies have cleared the hurdle of a 2012 campaign full of different personnel rotations and injuries, and are fully capable of making a return trip to the finals. He explained that accomplishing that is going to depend on keeping opponents off the scoreboard.

“It’s going to come down to our defense,” said Doten, who is in his 12th year at the UCD helm. “If we can hold people to six, seven or eight goals — with our offense potential — we’ll win those games. We’ve got to stay really connected on that front.”

While the Aggies rely on a team-based defense, sophomore utility Chris Richardson’s responsibility to support junior center defender Stuart Dooley and goalie Philip Bates (an All-WWPA freshman team selection) are key to protecting the net.

Richardson was named to the all-conference second team on Wednesday for his efforts. The honor came just days he scored seven goals — the highest total by an Aggie in 15 years — in a 13-11 victory over Santa Clara on Sunday.

Another UCD utility player, senior Matt Vowell, earned a first-team All-WWPA nod. Doten praised the veteran Aggie’s ability to lead, and recognized his prowess on defense.

Vowell, who played high school water polo at Jesuit, outlined what UCD has been concentrating on in its preparation for this weekend:

“Our biggest area for improvement has been our 6-on-5 (formation). On top of that, just making sure everyone is on the same page in every moment of the game — no matter the situation.”

In addition to his defense, Vowell has been a standout on the offensive end, as evidenced by the four hat tricks he has netted thus far in 2012. He showed off his passing ability with five assists in the recent win over Santa Clara.

For the season, Vowell leads UCD in assists (40) and has contributed 31 goals and 58 drawn exclusions. If he can post five more assists in the upcoming WWPA tournament, he will break former Aggie Grant Muenter’s school record for assists in a single season (44).

This southpaw who likes to share has been to the conference competition before, and realizes all that is hanging in the balance for UCD.

“How we do at this tournament is the definition of a successful season,” Vowell said. “Our ultimate goal is to get into the championship game and win it.

“The morale is as good as it has been all season. The team is peaking right now, and everyone has their mind in the right place. We’re ready to play some water polo.”

Doten agrees with his senior standout and expects the positive mind-set to serve the local men well in the days ahead.

“The confidence makes this the fun part of the year,” Doten said. “The guys are playing exceptionally well right now, and everyone is excited — so I am too.”

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052.

Comments

comments

.

News

Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis Community Meals needs cooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Send kids to camp!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Wise words

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Awareness is key to this fight

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Where is this going?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

 
Options for protection come with flu season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

 
Archer will get my vote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Mike Keefe cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Building something at schools’ HQ

By Our View | From Page: A10

 
Don’t sell city greenbelt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Paso Fino project is flawed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Maybe David can beat Goliath again

By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Sports

DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

 
Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
.

Business

UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Styles on target for November debut

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

MBI hires VP of marketing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8