Sports in Brief
Co-Written with Marvin Luu
Men’s Water Polo
The No. 7 UC Irvine men’s water polo team began their journey in the MPSF tournament on Friday, November 20th, in Los Angeles, in hopes of earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Ultimately, the ‘Eaters placed sixth this weekend after splitting on Friday, with a 14-9 victory over San Jose State and a 10-7 loss against Pacific, defeating UC Santa Barbara 7-4 on Saturday, and falling to Stanford 17-6 to conclude their performance in the MPSF tournament this postseason.
Friday’s game against the Spartans saw three different ‘Eaters (junior Kyle Trush, junior Lovre Milos, and sophomore Matt Skinner) score four goals apiece in their first round win of the MPSF tournament.
In the quarterfinals later that day, the ‘Eaters faced the number two seed Pacific Tigers. With the game tied and 6-6 entering the last quarter of play, the ‘Eaters failed to keep up the intensity and gave up a four goal run to Pacific which ended up elevating the Tigers to the semifinals and the ‘Eaters out of contention for the MSPF crown.
Consolation play for the ‘Eaters started with a game against the Gauchos of UCSB on Saturday. A five goal swing, during the first three quarters, wrapped up the victory for UCI where they went on to face the Stanford Cardinal in the fifth place game on Sunday.
After dropping their season opener against St. John’s (2-1) last Sunday, the UC Irvine women’s basketball team split their first two games on the road, snagging a 63-58 victory in Utah over the Thunderbirds (0-3) on Thursday evening before falling, 72-52, on Saturday in Nevada to UNLV (3-0). After three early non-conference games, the ‘Eaters currently hold a 1-2 overall record this season.
Despite a woeful shooting performance Thursday night in which UCI had shot at a combined 23-68 from the field, senior guard Raelyn Cheung-Sutton still managed to bolster up a double-double with 15 points and 12 dimes, a new career high, to lead the ‘Eaters over the Thunderbirds, 63-58. Cheung-Sutton also had a hand on the boards, tying her record at six.
Junior guard Irene Chavez took advantage of her first start of the season posting 14 points on 5-12 shooting in the contest. With just 1:02 left in the game, Chavez buried a crucial three-point basket that separated the ‘Eaters from Southern Utah by a four point margin in which the Thunderbirds were unable to find an answer for.
Two days later, UCI’s poor shooting continued with the team converting just 20 of their 70 shot attempts. This time around, the ‘Eaters did not recover in spite of junior forward Mokun Fajemisin’s 16 points and 11 rebounds and subsequently fell to UNLV by 20, 72-52. The ‘Eaters had never lead by a margin larger than two for the entirety of the game.
The ‘Eaters had no answer for the Lady Rebels who scored 38 points in the paint to UCI’s 10. UNLV also gained quite a bit of momentum in the second period where they broke out on a 14-8 scoring run to close out the half with a nine-point lead over UCI, 43-32. At the start of the third period, things began to get out of hand as UNLV added 27 more points to route UCI for the rest of the game.
With two consecutively poor shooting nights, the ‘Eaters will have a few days to regroup before going toe to toe against Princeton on Friday at the LMU Tournament based in Los Angeles.