There was an offensive explosion at Pepperdine’s Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool on Feb. 21.
The Pepperdine Waves men’s water polo squad rang up well over a dozen points on the visiting Loyola Marymount Lions in the final contest of a three-game home stand.
The Waves, ranked fifth nationally, defeated the sixth-ranked Lions, 19-7. The win pushed Pepperdine’s record to 6-2 heading into their Saturday matchup against Air Force at California Baptist in Riverside.
Freshman center defender Nico Tierney led the Waves with five points, while junior attacker Curtis Jarvis tallied four. Junior attacker Balazs Kosa scored three goals and Sean Ferrari, another junior attacker, scored twice. Freshman utility Christian Hosea, freshman attacker Jake Howerton, sophomore center Austin Smit, freshman center Travis Reynolds and junior Michael Dakis, who plays multiple positions, scored a goal each for Pepperdine.
Tierney, Kosa and Jarvis scored in the first quarter to give their squad a 3-0 lead. Kosa scored again in the second quarter before the Lions scored their first goal of the match. Smit scored before another Loyola Marymount goal, then tosses of the ball from Jarvis, Kosa and Reynolds found the back of the opposition’s net to give Pepperdine an 8-3 halftime lead.
Before Ferrari scored his consecutive goals, Tierney got his second score of the contest early in the third quarter. Dakis got the Waves their 13th score just before the start of the final quarter.
The fourth quarter featured goals from Jarvis, Hosea and Howerton. However, Tierney was the final eight minutes’ big scorer. He tallied three goals in the period.
Pepperdine started the season with two wins over Air Force on Jan. 23: a 16-9 victory and 12-7 triumph. The Waves were downed by UCLA, 15-9, on Jan. 30. The squad bounced back and defeated the Lions, 14-11, on Feb. 13. The next day, Pepperdine was beaten, 13-7, by USC.
On Valentine’s Day, the Waves beat Cal Baptist, 14-9. Pepperdine followed that up with consecutive home victories—13-10 on Feb. 19 and 17-10 the next day—over San Jose State before their high-scoring victory over Loyola Marymount.
One day after hosting Air Force, Pepperdine plays at Cal Baptist. The Waves will play two games at San Jose State. One on March 6 and then again on March 7.
The Waves’ fall season was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The group went 25-8 during its 2019 season en route to winning Golden Coast Conference title and advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships.
Before the start of the spring season, Waves head coach Terry Schroeder said in a statement that the team was excited to play again after being out of the pool for over a year.
“I know the guys are ready to get in the water and play against another team finally,” he said.