No. 4 Pepperdine Closes 2012 Regular Season at No. 8 Long Beach State; vs. No. 1 USC
Nov. 7, 2012
MALIBU, Calif. — No. 4 Pepperdine men’s water polo closes the 2012 regular season with a pair of tough MPSF matches starting Thursday, November 8 at No. 7 Long Beach State. The Waves then welcome No. 1 USC to Malibu for the finale on Sunday, November 11 at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. Pepperdine will honor its seniors in a special pre-match ceremony.
GAME #19 — Thursday (Nov. 8) at Long Beach, Calif.: #4 Pepperdine (11-8, 3-3 MPSF) vs. #8 Long Beach State (19-7, 1-4 MPSF) at 7:00 p.m.
GAME #20 — Sunday (Nov. 11) at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool, Malibu, Calif.: #4 Pepperdine (11-8, 3-3 MPSF) vs. #1 USC (21-0, 6-0 MPSF) at 1:00 p.m.
RANKINGS — Pepperdine remained at No. 4 in the national poll for the second straight week as announced by the Collegiate Water Polo Association after spending the previous week at No. 6.
SERIES VS. LONG BEACH STATE — Pepperdine owns a 67-30 lead in the all-time series against Long Beach State dating to the 1976 season. The Waves took a 10-8 home victory on Sept. 15 in their third win in ther last four against the Beach.
SERIES VS. USC — The Trojans own a 59-21-2 advantage in the all-time series and have won the last 12 meetings in the series, including a 9-4 win in the 2012 NorCal Tournament.
LAST WEEK — Pepperdine dropped a 12-9 home decision to Cal last Friday in MPSF action. Bence Valics (Eger, Hungary) led the way for Pepperdine offensively with a hat trick. Bence Valics (Eger, Hungary) recorded 13 saves for the Waves.
WAVE NOTABLES — Senior ATK Stephen Loomis enters the final week of the MPSF regular season as Pepperdine’s leading scorer with 41 goals, while fellow senior ATK Matthew DeTrane (Moraga, Calif./Diablo Valley CC) rates second with 31 goals to go along with 19 assists. Junior ATK Mike Tragitt (Clovis, Calif./Clovis HS) leads the Waves with 29 assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Bence Valics has played every minute in goal this season and has collected 228 saves. Valics ranks second among MPSF leaders in saves per game (12.00).
HOME POOL ADVANTAGE — In its first 37 years of existence, Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool has hosted many Pepperdine victories. The Waves entered this season 265-103 all-time at home, boasting a win percentage of .720. The Waves have posted a winning record at home in 30 of 37 seasons.
COACH MOSES — Two-time U.S. Olympian (2008, 2012) and former Pepperdine All-American Merrill Moses has recently joined the staff as an interim co-head coach this season. Moses led the United States to a gold medal at the 2007 and 2011 Pan American Games. Moses also led the Waves to the 1997 national championship where they captured their first title.
COACH RODRIGUEZ — William “Willo” Rodriguez is the other interim co-head coach along with Moses. Rodriguez was a two-year player for the Waves and also was an assistant coach in the 2006 and 2007 seasons.”Willo” is a former member of the Puerto Rican National Squad that competed at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2003.
COACH SCHROEDER — Water polo icon Terry Schroeder is a volunteer coach for the 2012 season. But he has much bigger plans in 2013, as Pepperdine has announced that Schroeder will return as the men’s water polo head coach next year. In his first stint with Pepperdine (1986-2005) he amassed 340 wins and a national championship in 1997. The head coach for USA Water Polo at the last two Olympics, Schroeder has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (2005), U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame (1998) and the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame (1985).
PEPPERDINE WATER POLO HISTORY — Since 1990, only five different universities have won an NCAA water polo title: four football schools and Pepperdine. The Waves claimed their first NCAA title by beating USC in the final in 1997. Heading into 2012, the Waves had posted winning records in 28 of 37 seasons and had an all-time record of 682-426-8.