No. 2 Cal Men Roll Past UC Irvine, Fall To Pepperdine

Courtesy: Cal Athletics

UC Irvine Release

IRVINE – Two-time defending MPSF Newcomer of the Week Roberto Valera continued his onslaught of collegiate water polo Saturday, totaling six points as the No. 2 Cal men’s water polo team rolled past No. 13 UC Irvine 17-7 at Anteater Aquatics Complex.

Valera scored four goals and dished out two assists as the Golden Bears (14-1) opened up a 5-1 lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised the rest of the way.

Senior Jack Deely added three goals and an assist to give him an MPSF-leading 62 points on the season, six more than teammate Miles O’Brien-Schridde. Senior Mateus Stellet also had four points with two goals and two assists while sophomore George Avakian and freshman Max Casabella also added two goals apiece. Stellet ranks third in the MPSF with 23 assists.

After missing the first two weeks of the season to compete for Spain at the FINA Junior World Championship, Valera has started his college career in dominating fashion. He has 20 goals, 13 assists and seven steals in just nine games for the Golden Bears, and has been named MPSF Newcomer of the Week in each of his first two weeks at Cal.

Goalies Adrian Weinberg and Anthony Rethans each played a half in the cage for the Bears and combined to make 14 saves.

Cal is back in action Sunday with a visit to No. 12 Pepperdine at 1 p.m.

Pepperdine Release

MALIBU – The No. 2 Cal men’s water polo team erased a five-goal deficit but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 16-14 loss at No. 12 Pepperdine on Sunday.

The Bears (14-2) fell behind 11-6 late in the second quarter but eventually tied the game at 13-13 with 6:45 to play. The Waves answered with three straight goals to put the game out of reach.

Freshman Max Casabella led Cal with four goals and two assists while senior All-American Jack Deely added four goals and an assist. Center Nikolaos Papanikolaou had a goal, two assists and five drawn exclusions.

Pepperdine initially took an 8-3 lead early in the second quarter but the Bears cut the deficit to two after goals by freshman Roberto Valera, Deely and Casabella. The Waves answered with three goals in a row of their own. Deely, Warren Loth, Casabella and Papanikolaou then strung together goals to cut Pepperdine’s lead to 11-10 with 4:14 left in the third quarter.

After the Waves once again went up 13-11, Cal’s Miles O’Brien-Schridde and Marko Valecic netted back-to-back goals to tie the game.

The Bears return to action next Saturday at No. 1 USC. The game begins at Noon and will air on Pac-12 Insider.

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