Sports in Brief

Women’s Water Polo

A week prior to the official kick-off of the 2015 season, the women’s water polo team faced off against the USA National Team Saturday in a friendly exhibition at the Anteater Aquatics Complex. The defending Big West Champions proved to be no match for Team USA, whom seemingly fired goals at will en route to a 18-4 rout over the Anteaters.
“For us, I just think it’s a great lesson. I mean they have the best center in the world, the best defender in the world, some of the best attackers in the world, so we’re already learning things right here at the beginning of the season and it’s good because they’re good enough where they expose your weaknesses immediately because they compete at such a high level and they make you pay, whereas someone that may be a lesser level isn’t going to exploit every weakness and take advantage of it right away and they do, so the girls just learn a lot,” said UCI’s head coach Dan Klatt, who serves as an assistant for the national team. “Our whole point in this game has nothing to do with hey, we’re going to beat the national, we just wanted to take advantage of the competitive opportunity that the rules allow and do our best to just kind of measure ourselves and see where we’re at and see what we need to do.”
After finishing last season with a 25-9 record and claiming its fifth Big West Tournament championship, the Anteaters will look to defend the crown as they look to earn their sixth title in the Big West. UC Irvine begins play next week at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto against San Jose State.

Men’s Basketball

In a tightly contested thriller, UC Irvine men’s basketball team defeated Hawai’i 78-72 at a capacity filled crowed of 8,761 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu last Saturday night. The victorious Anteaters improve to an overall record of 11-8 and 4-1 in the Big West, placing themselves in a three-way tie for first place amongst UC Davis and Long Beach State.
Senior forward Will Davis II had a game high of 17 points, while adding eight rebounds. Junior point guard Alex Young was a thorn in the Rainbow Warrior’s side all night long, recording 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Sophomore guard Luke Nelson had nine points and five assists, and senior center John Ryan had a game-high 10 rebounds and chipped in seven points.
The Anteaters will play their next two games at the Bren, beginning Thursday night against Cal Poly and Saturday night against UC Santa Barbara for Homecoming.

Women’s Tennis

After sweeping UC San Diego in a friendly exhibition the prior week, No. 74 UCI women’s tennis fell to No. 64 Kansas State, 4-0, at the ITA Kick-off Classic in Los Angeles last Saturday morning. With UCI’s Vivian Dvali and Mary Watrous winning the doubles set at the No. 3 position and the Wildcats winning No. 2 doubles, the doubles point came down to the final match at the No. 1 spot. Co-captains Kat and Ali Stacey put on a tremendous effort, but fell short of defeating their opponent by the narrowest of margins, losing 6-7 (6-8).
In singles, the Wildcats had no trouble dispatching the Anteaters in straight sets at the No. 1, 4 and 6 positions to claim the match at 4-0.
The following day, the Anteaters defeated Marshall University by a score of 4-1. After picking up the doubles points, Dvali earned the Anteaters their first singles point with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 6 singles. Kat Facey narrowly edged out her opponent 7-5, 6-4 at the No. 3 singles spot. Sarah Gong would clinch the win for UCI dispatching nationally ranked opponent in three sets, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 1 singles.