Men's Water Polo celebrates winning weekend

Men's Water Polo celebrates winning weekend

Photo by Evangelyna Guerrero

LA VERNE, CA — The University of La Verne men's water polo team had an outstanding weekend in the pool, winning three of four games at Las Flores Park in the annual Gary Troyer Tournament.

Stat Leaders

Rex Sample led the Leopards with 12 goals with Charles Ortega following close behind with 11 goals. Jason Russum stayed busy dishing the ball around, totaling seven assists in the tournament.

Defensively, Wesley Hovanesian and Ortega each snagged five steals. Sample added five field blocks. 

Ian Hernandez led the way in the cage with 31 saves and two wins.

La Verne 16, Connecticut College 9

The Leopards opened the weekend in dominating fashion, taking down the visiting Camels. La Verne jumped out to a 9-5 halftime lead after three first half goals by Ortega.

Connecticut College cut La Verne's lead to three heading into the fourth quarter. But the Leopards ended the game on a 5-1 run with Jason Soo Hoo, Myles Storms, and Dario Mariani all scoring to protect La Verne's lead.

Hernandez recorded five saves in the game and Mason Fox racked up four saves.

La Verne 8, Iona 5

The Leopards' second game of the tournament required a little more dramatics from the home squad.

The Gaels and Leopards were neck and neck through the first 16 minutes, heading into the break tied 3-3. In the third, Patrick Hudak put Iona back ahead early in the period. But La Verne answered with Michael Staine and Ortega scoring back-to-back goals. It looked liked the Leopards would take the lead into the fourth, but Hudak evened the game with just over a minute left in the period.

But it was all La Verne in the fourth. Joey Sabers scored an unassisted goal with 6:09 left to play and Ortega scored twice to add insurance. The Leopards shut out the Gaels in the final eight minutes.

Hernandez was outstanding in the cage, totaling an incredible 13 saves in the win.

La Verne 19, Penn St. Behrend 10

La Verne kept rolling out Saturday, routing the Lions in their day two opener. 

Twelve different Leopards got in on the scoring with Staine and Sabers both finishing with hat tricks. 

Domenic D'Andrea, Sample, and Russum each scored twice. Evan Monterroso, Danilo Lugli, Charles Lewandowski, Hovanesian, Soo Hoo, Ortega, and Storms each found the back of the net once.

Jose Lopez picked up the win in the cage, grabbing nine saves.

Navy 13, La Verne 10

La Verne's lone loss of the weekend came in an exciting match-up against the Midshipmen.

The Leopards got out to a fast start taking a 4-1 lead headed by a pair of goals by Sample with 1:28 remaining in the opening quarter. Navy bounced back in the final 65 seconds of the period scoring twice to get within a goal of La Verne.

In the second, the squads played tight, with each team managing just a goal apiece, sending the Leopards into halftime with a one-goal advantage. 

The Midshipmen surged after the break and went on a 5-2 run over the next eight minutes to take a 9-7 lead into the final period.

After Navy extended their lead to three to open the fourth, Sample put La Verne right back in the game. The junior scored an unassisted goal to cut the deficit to two with just under five minutes to play. But Navy scored the next three goals to pull away for good. The Leopards scored two more times in the final minute but would get no closer.

Hernandez did his part to keep the game close, finishing with 11 saves.

Season Impact

After an impressive weekend, La Verne improves their record to 6-13 overall.

Next Game

La Verne returns to SCIAC action next Saturday, October 13 when they travel to Eagle Rock to face the Occidental College Tigers at 11 a.m.

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