Top Seed Air Force Travels to Western Water Polo Association Championshipss

by SwimSwam 0

March 03rd, 2021 NCAA/College Water Polo

Courtesy: Air Force Athletics

This Week: The Air Force water polo team is the No. 1 seed in the Western Water Polo Association Championships and receives a bye in the first round of the WWPA Championships, March 5-6, in Riverside, Calif. In the first game, California Baptist (the host school) will face Loyola Marymount on Friday, March 5, at noon PT. The winner will meet Air Force on Saturday, March 6, at 1 p.m. PT. All games will be played at CBU’s Lancer Aquatics Center. The winner of the WWPA Tournament receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships, March 20-21.

Championship History: Air Force has won the WWPA Championships three times (1990, 1994 and 2012). The 2012 season was the last time the Falcons played in the WWPA title game. Since then, Air Force’s highest finish was third in 2015 and 2017. In the 2012 championships, Air Force defeated LMU in the semifinals and then top-seeded UC San Diego in the title game. The 2012 season marked Air Force’s eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament and the first appearance since 1994. In 2012, Air Force fell to eventual national champion USC in the first game and St. Francis in the third-place game.
Following the Falcons: The game will be video streamed on the WAC Digital Network and live stats will also be available on The Fosh. Links to both the stream and live stats are also on the Air Force water polo schedule.
About the Lancers: CBU is 5-4 overall and 0-2 in the WWPA, having lost conference games to both LMU and Air Force. The Lancers did split four games with LMU and took two of three from Air Force. CBU has been off since Feb. 17-19 when the Lancers lost to No. 5 Pepperdine, 14-9, and then  defeated Fresno Pacific, 23-9. P.J. McDonough leads the conference with 35 goals and is second in the WWPA with 42 points.  Zach Lowery leads the WWPA with 18 assists and is third in points (39).
About the Lions: LMU is 4-6 overall this season and finished 1-1 in the WWPA, having defeated California Baptist, 13-7, and falling to Air Force, 15-13 in overtime. The  Lions defeated San Jose State, 15-6, on Feb. 19, and then dropped a pair of games to No. 5 Pepperdine (19-7 and 14-8). Joseph Shaw leads the Lions, and ranks third in the league in goals (25) and fourth in points (35).
Series vs. CBU: Air Force and California Baptist have played 39 times and Air Force leads the series, 23-16. The teams met earlier this season and the Lancers won two of three at Cadet Natatorium. After Air Force won the WWPA game (15-14 in overtime), CBU won two non-conference games. Air Force is 3-4 against CBU in the last seven games. The teams last met in the playoffs in 2018 and the Falcons defeated the Lancers, 6-5, in the opening game of the tournament.
Series vs. LMU: Air Force and Loyola Marymount have played 65 times since the series began in 1980 and LMU leads the all-time series, 36-29. The teams split a pair of games earlier this season in Los Angeles. Air Force won the WWPA game, 15-13, in overtime. LMU then won the non-conference game, 18-17, in overtime.  The teams last met in the playoffs in 2018, a 10-7 LMU win in the third place game. AF is 3-5 is the last eight games against LMU.
National Rankings: Sophomore Grant Snyder is second in the nation in points (47), third in assists (17) and fourth in goals (30). He leads the nation in sprint wins (30). Senior Campbell Harris is ninth in the nation in goals (24) and fifth in field blocks (4). Senior Jason Hires is third in the nation in field blocks (5).

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