Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Leyson says Aggies are physically fit and ready to make a splash

UCD coach Daniel Leyson talks to his Aggie water polo players at a practice on Thursday at Schaal Aquatics Center. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page B1 | August 23, 2013 |

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series previewing the UC Davis fall sports.

“I’m doing my best to set an absolutely new standard for this program,” comes word from first-year UC Davis men’s water polo coach Daniel Leyson.

“We want this to be one of the marquee programs on campus, and I know we can do that. I know we can be a super-strong program. I have the highest expectations for the players, myself … for everybody.”

Leyson, who spent the last two years as an assistant at two-time NCAA runner-up UCLA, knows a little about world-class water polo.

In addition to being a three-time All-American utility man at USC, Leyson coached at his alma mater along side 10-time national coach of the year Jovan Vavić.

After a playing career in Spain (Club Natacio Atletic-Barceloneta), Leyson assisted legendary Ratko Rudić at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

He believes he knows what it takes to turn the Aggies into a consistent Western Water Polo Association contender, as well as participate in the NCAA tournament.

“Everything begins with physical fitness,” the 42-year-old told The Enterprise. “And these guys have been excellent over the summer. I really challenged them to get to new levels of physical fitness. They’ve worked hard.”

Thursday, Leyson greeted 20 returning players and 12 recruits in what was the first practice of the fall.

Leyson liked what he saw at Schaal Aquatics Center …

“We’ve been training for eight weeks already,” Leyson said. “And it doesn’t surprise me that they (came to work) in such good condition. The summer was a good time for us to get to know each other, have the guys get a feel for what kind of program I’ll be running.

“We worked on little things that coaches who are established (at their schools) don’t have to attend to: things like terminology. It was good.”

So what kind of program does Leyson run?

“We have to get stronger at every position,” he explained. “There’s no real secret in getting ready. We train hard and it’s up to me to make sure that that training is completely logical for the players … that all we do fits into the big picture.”

When asked about who might be starters, Leyson wasn’t committed to a set lineup:

“I’m reluctant to say who is going to start because a lot depends on your matchups and who your opponent is.”

Among the Aggie veterans figuring large in, what Leyson hopes, will be a relentless front line are 2-meter mavens junior Teddy Nicholson (Davis High), sophomores Jacob Ley (Leland, San Jose) and Tennyson May (Miramonte) and freshman Max Viegant (Granite Bay).

“We have a lot of depth at the center position — and these are some big guys, which is really encouraging,” said Leyson, who added he loved mixing it up near the net during his playing days. “It helps having big guys in the middle.”

Just who will play deeper on the left or right sides of the pool is a work in progress, according to the new coach, but defenders are shaping up in the form of Michael Wright (DHS), Mike Millstein (Monte Vista) and the versatile Viegant.

In the net, UCD has five goalkeepers in camp.

“It’s not such a bad thing,” said Leyson, who added that keeping several goalies means coaches can provide a lot of individual training.

But, with 32 players vying for 25 positions, competition will be keen for many positions and certainly playing time.

The Aggies open play at the Triton Invitational, hosted by UC San Diego Sept. 7-8. Cal Baptist, Air Force (in a nonleague outing), Long Beach State and Cal are on the weekend agenda.

After a to-be-announced slate in the NorCal Invitational (Berkeley), the Aggie Shootout is a one-day affair on Sept. 21. The tourney features Cal, Redlands and Fresno Pacific.

UCD will be at UC Irvine for a two-day gathering before hosting Pacific (Oct. 18) and traveling to Stanford (Oct. 20).

WWPA competition begins Nov. 1 with the Aggies on the road at Loyola Marymount. The locals are at UCSD the following day before coming home for Santa Clara (Nov. 10) and Air Force (Nov.11).

Conference postseason play starts in Davis on Nov. 22.

“Whether we’re going to win this league this year or not, I don’t know,” Leyson offered. “But I can tell you we’re going to fight just as hard as we can to try to do it.”

Notes: Leyson and his wife Camille loved Northern California before moving here recently and buying a house. The coach said he fell in love with UCD when UCLA visited last year. “I’m amazed at this place as a community,” Leyson said. “More people should know about UCD … and it’s my job to make sure they find out about it.” The Leysons have three children, Mia, 3, and twin 1-year-olds, Silas and Benjamin. … Leyson replaced long-time coach Steve Doten in May. Doten led the Aggies to a 14-18 record and an No. 18 ranking last season. … Former All-American UCD goalkeeper Kevin Peat is as an assistant coach.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Yolo makes hydrogen connection

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    USA Weekend calls it quits

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    UC Davis debate team wins national championship

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

    By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

     
    Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    College sees benefits in loan guarantees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

    .

    Forum

    This cat is on life No. 7

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

     
     
    It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Say thanks to the caregivers

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Rifkin’s statement is offensive

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Bombing is not the answer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

    By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

    Commission’s list needs vetting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Writer’s arguments fall flat

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

    Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Kings cruise past Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Obituaries

    Ruth Allen Barr

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8