Men's Water Polo
    No. 2 USC Men Heat Up For Action At Inland Empire Classic

    Bryce Hoerman ripped in six goals last weekend and is looking for more at the Inland Empire Classic.
    Sept. 10, 2015

    USC Water Polo Release Get Acrobat Reader

    The No. 2 USC men’s water polo team is heating up in its 2015 campaign and looks to add to its 2-0 start to the year with a four-game stint at the Inland Empire Classic this weekend. On Saturday (Sept. 12), the Trojans will play two games in Redlands. At 10:20 a.m., USC will square off against No. 18 Whittier before clashing with Chapman at 11:40 a.m. The next day (Sept. 13), the Trojans skip over to La Verne, facing the host Leopards at 10:20 a.m. and then playing Claremont Mudd Scripps at 12 p.m. to wrap what’s sure to be a warm weekend of action in the Inland Empire.

    Whittier (Play-in)4
    November 29, 2014
    Uytengsu Aquatics Center
    Trojans Take Their Place In NCAA Semifinals With Play-in Win
    The USC men's water polo team notched its place in the NCAA semifinals for the 10th consecutive season with a resounding 19-4 win in the NCAA Play-in game today over No. 6 seed Whittier. As the No. 3 seed in this 2014 NCAA Tournament, the six-time defending national champs are now off to La Jolla to square off against No. 2 seed Stanford in the semifinals on Saturday (Dec. 6). To get there, the Trojans had to get through Whittier today in one final home game at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Senior Kostas Genidounias cemented his spot in USC history with the first goal of the day, ringing up his 255th career goal to take over as USC's top scorer all-time as the Trojans roll to a 23-6 overall record with a ticket to La Jolla in-hand.

    September 13, 2014
    Redlands, Calif.
    La Verne5
    September 6, 2014
    San Diego, Calif.
    No Fear For New-Look Trojans On Day One
    Around half USC's scoring in its first games of 2014 came from the hands of brand-new Trojans as USC made an early-season statement with two big wins out of the gates at the Triton Invitational in San Diego. No. 2 USC took out No. 11 UC Davis 19-3 with 10 goals coming from USC true freshmen to start the day. In the afternoon, USC blasted La Verne with a 24-5 victory to wrap up a day that saw seven USC players tally their first career goals as Trojans.

    September 15, 2013
    La Verne, Calif.
    USC was tabbed at No. 2 in the nation in the preseason national poll and in the MPSF preseason coaches’ poll as the Trojans take aim the 2015 season. USC has reached the NCAA title match for 10 consecutive seasons, with seven championships won in that span, and the Trojans are intent on a return trip to the top this year. As USC enters the second week of 2015 competition, the Trojans remain ranked No. 2 in the nation.

    Last year at the Inland Empire Classic, the Trojans swept through their competition, outscoring opponents by a grand total of 90-19. This year, USC has a different set of teams to square off against -- all of which the Trojans have never lost to. USC is a perfect 5-0 against Whittier, last facing off in the 2014 NCAA Play-In Game, which the Trojans won 19-4. USC’s 3-0 all-time record against Chapman was built up with a 21-6 win during last year’s Inland Empire Classic. The Trojans are 2-0 against La Verne with help from a 24-5 win a last year’s Triton Invitational. USC’s longest rivalry of the bunch is with Claremont Mudd Scripps. The Trojans first faced the Stags in 1983 and are 9-0 all-time. The teams last met at the 2013 Inland Empire Classic with USC posting a 19-2 win that year.

    USC got out of the gates with a good head of steam last weekend, pinning up powerful wins in its first official action of the year. The Trojans tacked up a 23-5 win over Cal Baptist in their season opener at the Triton Invitational and then stayed the course for a 25-6 win over Concordia on day two of the action in La Jolla. Newcomer Blake Edwards was a force to reckon with on the offensive end as he drilled four goals in each game to stand as USC’s top scorer on the weekend. Just a step behind him was his younger brother Lachlan Edwards with four goals vs. CBU and then a hat trick vs. Concordia, while fellow sophomore Matteo Morelli countered with a hat trick in game one and then a four-goal outing on day two. Another sophomore, Bryce Hoerman, also punched up a four-goal effort in La Jolla, ringing up four as well against the Lancers. USC’s sophomore strength was also in full effect on the defensive end with second-year goalies McQuin Baron and Ben Goncharenko manning the cage. Baron opened up with 10 saves vs. CBU and shared time in goal with Goncharenko the following day in another stingy defensive effort by the Trojans. Blake Edwards wasn’t the only newcomer to make an impact on the first weekend of action, though. True freshmen Zach D’Sa and Nick Silvers also got to the back of the net to register their first goals as Trojans.

    As head coach Jovan Vavic digs into his third decade at the helm of the USC water polo program, the 2015 Trojans look to be a force to reckon with once again. Coming off their 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA final, the Trojans bring back a hefty load of players from that 2014 campaign. The only Trojan with three full seasons under his belt is redshirt senior Mac Carden. Meanwhile, USC’s youth movement now includes a powerful group of sophomores, including All-Americans McQuin Baron, Mihajlo Milicevic and James Walters. The relative veteran of that 2014 All-American crew, Nick Bell, enters his junior season as a Trojan. Baron and Bell also were All-MPSF honorees last season along with now-graduated All-Americans Rex Butler and Marc Vonderweidt and Cutino Award winner Kostas Genidounias.

    Over the summer, several Trojans combined forces with their respective national teams in order to secure qualification to the coming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Current USC goalie McQuin Baron capped up along with USC grad Nikola Vavic for Team USA, winning gold at the 2015 Pan American Games to earn the United States a spot in Rio. Weeks later, those two Trojans were among a group of four USC men in action at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. When the waves settled out there, USC’s recent grad Kostas Genidounias was gripping a bronze medal that secured Greece with a ticket to the 2016 Games. The fourth Trojan male competing at Worlds was another Cutino Award winner, goalie Joel Dennerley, who is looking to make another Olympic appearance for Australia when he and the Aussies fight for qualification out of Oceania.

    2014 RECAP
    USC continued its streak of reaching NCAA title matches after upsetting No. 2 seeded Stanford in sudden-death overtime in the NCAA semifinals. The No. 3 seeded Trojans had to start their NCAA journey with a play-in game, and would surge into the final to face top-seeded UCLA. A 9-8 loss left the 2014 Trojans short of a seventh consecutive national championship, but the young Trojans had made a statement still in reaching the NCAA final for the 10th straight year. Under head coach Jovan Vavic’s guidance, USC finished the 2014 campaign with a 24-7 overall record after a 6-2 mark in MPSF play. Senior Kostas Genidounias broke USC’s all-time scoring record en route to being named the Peter J. Cutino Award recipient to go along with his 2014 honors as MPSF and National Player of the Year. The four-time All-American was joined by fellow seniors Rex Butler and Marc Vonderweidt on 2014’s All-American honor roll, as were four representatives of USC’s youth movement in sophomore Nick Bell and freshmen McQuin Baron, Mihajlo Milicevic and James Walters. In all, the Trojan offense — charged by 21 different scorers — averaged 14-2 goals per game, while the defense allowed 6.9 goals against per game. By season’s end, USC had outscored opponents 439-213. Freshman goalie Baron set the USC record for single-season saves with 288 collected in his first year as a Trojans.

    On Jan. 8, 2014, the Trojan Family lost a special member in the passing of USC freshman Jon Walters. At 19 years old, Walters was an NCAA Champion, beloved teammate and a Trojan warrior for the USC men’s water polo team. His loss has touched the Trojan Family and the water polo world deeply, and the USC water polo program continues to play with Jon in their hearts. As a first-year freshman 2-meter man, Jon Walters was a key contributor on USC’s 2013 NCAA championship men’s water polo team that won a sixth consecutive NCAA title in December. He scored 17 goals on the year, including two in the NCAA semifinal game and another two in the MPSF championship game, despite missing the middle part of the season with an elbow injury. A native of Newport Beach, he attended Mater Dei High School, where he was an All-American and the 2012 CIF Player of the Year. Jon’s younger brother James is now a sophomore at USC, coming off a freshman campaign that saw the younger Walters earn All-American Honorable Mention in 2014. •