No. 9 Men's Water Polo Sweeps Day Two of the Aggie Round Up

Photo taken by Gil Talbot
Photo taken by Gil Talbot

DAVIS, Calif.- The No.9 Harvard men's water polo team concluded the weekend with two wins over Chapman, 18-3, and Whittier, 10-9, at UC Davis' Aggie Round Up. The Crimson moves to 3-1 on the weekend and 8-3 on the season. 

Against Chapman, Austin Sechrest opened up scoring play in the first quarter off a six-on-five and a shot from the outside in second quarter to put the momentum the Crimson's way. At the end of the half, Nathan Ondracek, Dennis Blyashov, Charlie Owens, and Ben Wagner added to the scoring fun putting Harvard up 9-2. 

Chapman struggled to find gaps in the Crimson's defense, only putting together one additional goal from Cameron Genetti off a six-on-five. Nikhil Suri took the ball from Vasil Halchev at the 2M to find Blyahsov for the counter-goal putting the score 10-3. Charlie Owens capitalized on the pair's success to begin the onslaught of unanswered goals by Grant Harvey, Jackson Enright, Alex Tsotadze, and Wagner. With the final whistle, the squad topped Chapman 18-3. 

Following the victory over the Panthers, Harvard faced Whittier, who attacked first in the match. The Crimson's Blyashov quickly responded with a counter-goal to keep the game even at one before going into the second quarter. The strong defensive showing on both sides continued throughout the half with only two additional goals from the Crimson and Poets. Ondracek showed his defensive skills with a shot block that landed in front of the Whittier's Cornelis Kriek who attempted to best Nathan Ridgley. 

Offensive action opened up in the third quarter with the Alex Tsotadze netting one off a six-on-five just 40 seconds in and putting the Crimson ahead 4-3. The Poets responded with a counter-goal from Hans Zdolsek, which marked the beginning of a back-and-forth repartee. Going into the final quarter the Crimson maintained the lead at 8-7 before Charlie Owens added back-to-back goals. Bruno Snow sealed the win with the Crimson's tenth goal, while Whittier made an effort to send the game to overtime with shots from Kalani Fouts and Carlos Heredia Viteri. 

Harvard Highlights 

* Michael Sonsini led the Crimson with four assists against Chapman 

* Suri tallied 17 saves against the Panthers, while allowing only 3 goals 

* Charlie Owens put together three goals against Whittier. 

* Bruno Snow and Dennis Blyashov each had three assists in the faceoff against the Poets. 

Up Next 

The Crimson begins conference play against Iona and St. Francis on Saturday Sept. 29 beginning at 12:30 p.m.