Courtesy: Air Force Athletics
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Fifth-ranked Pepperdine scored the first six goals of the game in a 22-12 win over No. 8 Air Force in the final regular-season game of the season, Saturday, Feb. 27, in Malibu, Calif.
Pepperdine (8-2 overall this season) scored on its first possession and built a 6-0 lead. Air Force got on the board with 1:56 left in the first quarter on a goal by freshman Ian Christie. The Waves then scored the next five goals for an 11-1 lead. Corey Tanis and Grant Snyder scored late in the second quarter, but Pepperdine had a 13-3 lead at the half.
The Falcons outscored the Waves, 6-5, in the third quarter as Snyder and Christie each scored twice. Ian Shepherd and Alex Hirjoi also scored in the third as the Waves had an 18-9 lead entering the final quarter. After a goal by Campbell Harris, Snyder netted two more late in the fourth quarter.
Snyder, who ranks second in the nation in points and fourth in goals, had a game-high five goals and added an assist. His five goals and six points were his second highest marks of the season. Christie had a career-high three goals. A.J. Kuypers started between the pipes and made four saves in the first half. Anthony Tolbert played the second half in goal and had three saves. Air Force was 3-for-7 on the power play.
Air Force (4-6 overall, 2-0 WWPA) is the No. 1 seed in the Western Water Polo Association Tournament and will receive a bye in the first round of next week’s playoffs. The Falcons will face either California Baptist or Loyola Marymount in the championship game on Saturday, March 6, at 1 p.m. PT in Riverside, Calif. The winner of the WWPA Tournament receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.