By Lindsey Boyd (@lindsboyd3):
The Gary Troyer Tournament was men’s water polo’s code word for ‘rack up the points.’ The team recorded 48 goals and 37 steals to sweep No. 15 Cal Baptist 19-16, No. 22 Whittier 12-9 and Chapman 17-14.
Freshman Jacob Mercep posted nine goals against Cal Baptist and now has 69 points this season — beating Davor Koret’s 51 point record last season.
Mercep now has the highest amount of points a player has earned since the program was re-established two seasons ago. And, there’s still 11 games left before the Gold Coast Championship.
Sophomore driver Ben Hauschild notched six steals to take down Cal Baptist who currently ranks three spots higher nationally than SJSU. SJSU was fired up as evident of their two yellow cards.
The Spartans literally stayed in the water to play back-to-back games against Chapman and Whittier, and found the stamina to win both.
The Spartans started with a 5-0 padding against Chapman, but three penalty fouls contributed to a close 12-11 game in the third quarter.
Freshman utility players Alan Viollier and Abraham Santana saw more playing time than usual, and earned the highest points for the team against Chapman. Viollier scored two goals in the last half of the game to help SJSU stay ahead.
Against Whittier, sophomore 2-meter Finn Pardon had a hat-trick — his third of the season.
The Spartans will look to carry the momentum into this week when they resume Gold Coast Conference play against No. 8 UC Santa Barbara on Friday, 7 p.m. at West Valley College.