Gauchos To Face SCIAC Pair at Inland Empire Tournament

Ivan Gvozdanovic (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Ivan Gvozdanovic (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

The Schedule
Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 at 10:20am
No. 6 UCSB vs. No. 20 Pomona-Pitzer
at Redlands, Calif. – Inland Empire Tournament
All-time record vs. the Sagehens: 13-0
Last meeting: Nov. 5, 2016 – UCSB def. PP 13-9

Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 at 1:20pm
No. 6 UCSB vs. Occidental
at Redlands, Calif. – Inland Empire Tournament
All-time record vs. the Tigers:  10-0
Last meeting: Sept. 17, 2016 – UCSB def. OXY 15-5

Weekend Preview
No. 6 UCSB heads to Redlands, Calif. for the Inland Empire Tournament where the Gauchos will square off against a pair of Division III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opponents. In the first match of the weekend on Saturday, the Gauchos will take on No. 20 Pomona-Pitzer, and boast a 13-0 all-time record against the Sagehens. Last year, the teams met twice with UCSB coming away with an 18-3 win in the season opener and a 13-9 win later in the year. Against Occidental, the Gauchos hold a 10-0 all-time series advantage and defeated the Tigers 15-5 behind a pair of hat-tricks from Reed Cotterill and Boris Jovanovic last season.  

Last Week's Results
In the season opening tournament, the Gauchos split the competition, going 2-2 in San Diego at the Triton Invitational. On Saturday afternoon, UCSB picked up a pair of victories with a 15-11 win over Concordia Irvine before topping conference foe UC Irvine 14-12 in overtime. Against the Eagles, Shane Hauschild and Jovanovic each tallied a hat-trick to highlight the opening win while Jovanovic provided a pair of overtime goals to send the Gauchos past the Anteaters in the afternoon. On Sunday, UCSB nearly knocked off top-ranked Cal, falling 8-7, before concluding play with a 9-6 defeat at the hands of No. 8 Long Beach State.  

Poll Position
After starting the season ranked No. 6 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) National Rankings, UCSB has held steady in the No. 6 slot while Long Beach State jumped two positions to sit tied with the Gauchos. Cal holds at No. 1 with USC ranked No. 2 and Stanford at No. 3. Golden Coast Conference member Pacific sits at No. 5 while Pepperdine is No. 8, UC Irvine No. 11 and San Jose State is receiving votes.

Offensive Leaders
Through the first four games of the year, Hauschild leads the Gauchos with nine goals while Jovanovic has eight and Ivan Gvozdanovic has six. Freshman Chad Nelson has been an immediate contributor and has scored four goals. Jovanovic leads the way in the assist department with five handouts while Brannan Haket, Hauschild and Gvozdanovic have tallied three apiece.  

Defensive Leaders
On the defensive end, Justyn Barrios has racked up 33 saves in front of the cage including a season-high 15 saves against UC Irvine. Josh Jordan and Haket, meanwhile, lead the team with three steals apiece while Hauschild has logged five field blocks.