Air Force Water Polo Opens Season With Pair of Games At Pepperdine

by SwimSwam 0

January 20th, 2021 NCAA/College Water Polo

Courtesy: Air Force Athletics

This Week:  Air Force opens the 2020-21 with a pair of non-conference games against Pepperdine, Jan. 23, in Malibu, Calif. The Falcons and Waves will play at 10 am and 3 pm PT.

About the Waves: Pepperdine finished last season with a 25-8 overall record and a final national ranking of fourth. Pepperdine’s season ended with a loss to Pacific in the national semifinals.

Series Records: Air Force and Pepperdine have played 45 times and the Waves hold a 41-4 lead. Pepperdine defeated Air Force, 10-2, last season. The last Falcon win over the Waves came in 1996.

About the Schedule: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the water polo season was moved to the spring and begins Jan. 23 on the road. Air Force is scheduled to open Western Water Polo Association play at Loyola Marymount, Jan. 30. Air Force has one home weekend, Feb. 13-14, against Santa Clara and Austin College. The WWPA Championships are set for March 5-7, in Davis, Calif.

For the most updated Air Force water polo schedule, click here.

Who’s Back: Air Force returns a pair of players that earned all-conference honors last season. Senior team captain Campbell Harris was named second team all WWPA while sophomore Grant Snyder was named the freshman of the year and selected to the all-freshman team last season. Harris ranked fourth in the league with 18 goals in conference games. In all games, he was second on the team and 10th in the league with 48 goals. Snyder was the first Falcon to earn WWPA freshman of the year honors since Cruz Smithson in 2009. Snyder was third on the team in goals (39) and points (52) and also had 13 steals and was a perfect 9-0 in sprints. Junior Anthony Tolbert returns between the pipes. Last season, he led the team with 201 saves and six wins.

Looking Back: Air Force was 11-17 overall last season and defeated Fresno Pacific in the WWPA seventh-place game. The 11 wins are most under third-year head coach Ryan Brown and tie as the most since the 2015 team won 12. A school-record six Air Force water polo players earned recognition on the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) all-academic team. The six members broke the previous school record of five set in both 1999 and 2003.

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