By Lindsey Boyd (@lindsboyd3):
Men’s water polo has a chance to redeem their 13-12 loss to No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (9-6) this Friday at home. No. 16 SJSU is in the midst of a three-game win streak –– the longest streak in the new program’s history –– but has yet to win a Gold Coast Conference game.
If freshman Jacob Mercep and driver Justin Pickering keep up their consistent scoring, and sophomore driver Ashley Castle shines on offense again against UCSB, the program could clinch its first ever Gold Coast Conference match.
SJSU stayed within one or two points the entire match in a tight game last time they met UCSB Sept. 23 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament which is a huge improvement from its 13-4 loss to last season.
UCSB’s Ivan Gvozdanovic and freshman attacker Chad Nelson pressured SJSU’s defense into committing 16 exclusions last time they faced each other. Cutting back on the fouls will give UCSB less of a chance to score on power plays.
The match will be held Friday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. and marks the Spartans’ first home game since their season opener against Santa Clara on Sept. 2. They will also travel to play No. 3 UC Berkeley on Sunday, Oct. 15. The match is set for 1 p.m.