Men's Water Polo
    Top-Ranked Trojans Go Big On Opening Weekend

    Nikola Vavic ripped in seven goals today to help lead a high-powered Trojan start to 2012.

    Sept. 1, 2012

    The top-ranked USC men's water polo team tore right through the gates of 2012 opening weekend in serving up overwhelming wins on the Trojans' first day of competition this season. USC, which is starting its pursuit of a fifth straight national championship, tuned up its touch with two takedowns today in Westwood, Calif.

    First on deck was a 24-3 blasting of La Verne, which the Trojans shut out in the first frame before piling on 10 goals in the second period of play to build a 15-1 lead at the half. The hits kept coming from the Trojans, as they finished off their season-opener with a 24-3 decision, led by hat tricks from Stephen Siri and Kostas Genidounias. In all, 16 different Trojans struck the back of the cage in this one, with Mac Carden, Russell Renteria and Chase Watson all tallying their first official goals at USC. Backup goalie Aleck Ryner also hauled in his first career saves with three stops in the fourth period of play in the win, following up a trio of saves by Ely Bonilla through the first three.

    When the Trojans plunged back into the pool later in the day, the USC defense would clamp down on Pomona-Pitzer in the second half. With Bonilla and Ryner splitting time in goal the second half, the Sagehens were held scoreless in the last two frames as USC rolled up a 20-3 win. Nikola Vavic provided five of those goals, leading a battalion of14 Trojan scorers in the win. Among them was Eugene Chong, who also got in on the first-goal action among USC's first-timers on the day.



    USC moves into more action in Westwood tomorrow, with two exhibition games to open the day before a 1 p.m. official contest against Chapman in an effort to take a 3-0 start to the Trojans' 2012 campaign.

    Sept. 1, 2012 -- Westwood, Calif.
    #1 USC 24, La Verne 3
    USC 5 - 10 - 5 - 4 = 24
    ULV 0 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 3

    USC -- Kostas Genidounias 3, Stephen Siri 3, Nikola Vavic 2, Max Hurst-Mendoza 2, Michael Rosenthal 2, Mac Carden 2, Jack Plaga, Zach Lucas, Mace Rapsey, Connor Virjee, Ivan Kustic, Andrew Reego, Russell Renteria, Chase Watson, Rex Butler, A.J. MacDonell.

    SAVES: Ely Bonilla (USC) [3 quarters] 3, Aleck Ryner (USC) [1 quarter] 3.

    #1 USC 20, Pomona-Pitzer 3
    USC 6 - 5 - 4 - 5 = 20
    P-P 1 - 2 - 0 - 0 = 3

    USC -- Nikola Vavic 5, Zach Lucas 2, Mac Carden 2, Jack Plaga, Kostas Genidounias, Matt Burton, Michael Rosenthal, Connor Virjee, Marc Vonderweidt, Andrew Reego, Russell Renteria, Chase Watson, Eugene Chong, Rex Butler.

    SAVES: Ely Bonilla (USC) [3 quarters] 7, Aleck Ryner (USC) [1 quarter] 4.