Waves Water Polo Drops Final Game of MPSF Tournament, 10-8 to UC Santa Barbara

Spencer Hamby

Nov. 27, 2011

LOS ANGELES - No. 6-seed Pepperdine water polo fell in the final game of the season 10-8 to No. 5-seed UC Santa Barbara in the seventh-place MPSF Tournament match Sunday morning at UCLA's Spieker Aquatics Center. The Waves were paced by junior Spencer Hamby's team-leading three goals.

In the opening quarter the Waves were unable to find the back of the net, while the Gauchos put away for scores. At the end of the quarter the Waves had their work cut out for them, as they were down 4-0.

The Waves quickly began to chip away at the deficit, with junior Danny White (Oxnard, Calif./Rio Mesa HS) putting away a score 58 seconds into the second quarter. The Gauchos turned around and pushed the score back up to 5-1. At the 5:23 mark of the quarter senior Andrew Milcovich (Walnut Creek, Calif./De La Salle HS) scored a 6-on-5 goal to cut into the lead, 5-2. The Waves and Gauchos would finish out the quarter both with scores and at the half the score was 6-3.

In the third quarter the Waves outscored the Gauchos 4-2. Hamby (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS) scored consecutive goals for Pepperdine (at 6:21 and 4:55), reducing UCSB's advantage to 6-5. Bryce Miller converted for UCSB on a 6-on-5 opportunity with 4:25 left in the quarter, putting the Gauchos on top, 7-5. The Waves cut into the lead on a goal by Matt Brown (Bellevue, Wash./Brown Academy) with 3:54 remaining in the third period. The Gauchos and Waves would trade goals through the end of the third quarter, with Hamby netting his third goal of the quarter with 1:26 left. Entering the final frame the Waves were behind by just one, 8-7.

The Gauchos pushed their lead to three goals, 10-7, in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. The Waves would continue to fight, closing the gap to 10-8 on a power-play goal from Stephen Loomis (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo HS) with 5:30 remaining in regulation.



Neither team scored in the final five minutes and 30 seconds. With the Waves trailing, 10-8, goalkeeper Bence Valics (Eger, Hungary/Eszerbet Secondary) made a crucial save with 1:04 to play in the final quarter, giving the Waves an opportunity to quickly close the two-goal gap.

A skip shot from Milcovich with 50 seconds left sailed wide of the cage and the Gauchos controlled the ball for the next 30 seconds. The Waves' final shot attempt from Hamby was blocked by UCSB goalkeeper Myles Christian.

Pepperdine finished its season with a 12-14 record, while UC Santa Barbara closed its campaign with a 16-12 mark.

UC Santa Barbara 10, Pepperdine 8

1 2 3 4 Final Pep 0 3 4 1 8 UCSB 4 2 2 2 10

Goals: Pep: Spencer Hamby 3, Matt Brown, Stephen Loomis, Andrew Milcovich, James Perry, Danny White UCSB: Matt Gronow 2, Matt Johnson 2, Lazar Komadinic, Bryce Miller, Chase Racich, Brian Shoemaker, Nick Tomasello, Teddy Zhang

Saves: Bence Valics (Pep) 11, Myles Christian (UCSB)11

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