Oct. 25, 1999
THIS WEEK: Sat., Oct. 30 USC, Spieker Aquatics Center, Berkeley, CA Noon
Sun., Oct. 31 UC Davis, Spieker Aquatics Center, Berkeley, CA Noon
LAST WEEK: The fifth-ranked Bears did not play any matches. Two weekends ago, Cal dropped a pair of games to second-ranked UCLA, 8-2, and ninth-ranked Pepperdine, 10-4, to fall to 7-8 overall and fifth in MPSF with a 2-3 conference record.
DE JA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: They say those who can't remember the past are condemned to repeat it. While it's not likely that the members of last year's squad have forgotten the four-game skid they suffered in the middle of last season, the Bears sure are replicating it. In 1998, Cal lost their last three matches of the NorCal Tournament and added a 7-6 MPSF loss to UCLA on Oct. 24 to drop them to 7-8 on the season. One year later, the Bears enter this week's matchup with 7-8 record after dropping four in a row. While the two skids are somewhat incomparable - last year's squad lost two of their NorCal Tournament games in the consolation round while this year's team dropped two championship round games - the Bears may want to find a way to replicate the four-game winning streak that followed the four-game skid last season. Last year, the Bears battled to an 8-7 sudden death win over Pacific on their way to winning four in a row.
TROJAN NOTES: USC is following up last year's NCAA Championship with another stellar campaign. The top-ranked Trojans are 15-2 overall (3-1 MPSF) with both losses coming against Stanford, including a 5-3 defeat on Oct. 23. Cal has yet to meet the defending champs this season, unlike last year when the two teams battled it out on four separate occasions. The Trojans took all four of those matches, the latter two being overtime wins of 9-7 (Oct. 18) and 9-8 (Nov. 8). USC is coached by Jovan Vavic and led offensively by Allen Basso (38 points) and George Csaszar (20 points). In the cage again this year for the Trojans is senior goalie Richard McEvoy (158 saves, 5.59 gaa).
AG REPORT: Nineteenth-ranked UC Davis sports a 9-19 overall record and is 7-6 in the Western Water Polo Association. Cal defeated the Aggies in their opener at Spieker, 15-1, on Sept. 11 and again in the opening round of the NorCal Tournament on Oct. 9, 12-3. Coached by Tom Elson, UC Davis is led by freshman goalie Terry Durham (138 saves), and juniors Lance Campbell (39 points) and Kevin Loscotoff (33 points).
THE COACHES: Peter Asch (7-8, .467) begins his first season as Cal's head coach, replacing Steve Heaston, who passed away in the off-season after a long battle with brain cancer. Asch was a three-time All-American player for Cal from 1967-69, serving as team captain in '68 and '69. Last season, Asch served as head coach of the women's water polo team, a position he will continue to hold, leading the women to a 28-7 overall record and an MPSF title. Assistant coach Doug Arth enters his 11th season with the Bears. A four year-letterwinner as a player for Pete Cutino in the early seventies, Arth was the 1972 AAU Outdoor National Player of the Year and a two-time All-American (1973 and '74).