Men's Water Polo Returns Home To Face UC Irvine
Oct. 30, 2001
LOS ANGELES - The No. 4 USC men's water polo team (9-5 overall, 4-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) will host UC Irvine (4-9, 1-4) in an MPSF match on Saturday (Nov. 3) at 10 a.m. at McDonald's Swim Stadium.
LAST WEEK - The Trojans went 2-0 with a 12-3 win at Santa Clara on Oct. 26 in non-conference action and an 11-5 MPSF win at Pacific on Oct. 27. Daniel Lontay led the Trojans with four goals in the win against Santa Clara while Jeff Larson led with four goals in the Pacific match.
NOTES & STATS - The Trojans have outscored their opponents this season by a 87-75 margin...the 2001 So-Cal Tournament, scheduled at McDonald's Swim Stadium on Sept. 15 and 16, was cancelled due to the tragic events on Sept. 11 on the East Coast.
JOVAN VAVIC - In his seventh season as the head coach of the men's water polo program, Jovan Vavic has built the Trojans into a national power, which culminated with the 1998 national championship. Vavic came to USC as an assistant men's water polo coach to John Williams in 1992 and was named co-head coach in 1995. He took over the reins as head coach in 1999 when Williams retired. Vavic is also the head coach for the USC women's water polo team. During the 1998-99 season, Vavic did something no other coach has accomplished as his teams won three national championships: besides capturing the 1998 men's and 1999 women's titles, his 1999 men's club team won the Men's Senior National Club Championship. Vavic has a 30-year water polo career. In addition to his coaching experience, he was a member of a Yugoslavian club team that was a four-time junior national champion (1973-74-76-77). Jovan also played for the Monte-Negro State team, which won the Yugoslav Nationals in 1977 and 1978.
VAVIC'S CAREER RECORD - Jovan Vavic has a 143-33 (.813) record in seven years with the Trojans.
IVAN BABIC - Senior utility Ivan Babic (Belgrade, Yugoslavia) is a three-time All-American for the Trojans and is third on the team this year with nine goals. Babic is now 15th on USC's all-time goal-scoring list with 110 career goals with Matt Tonkovich and needs three to tie Jason Klingsberg (1989-92) for 14th place. He led the team last year with 40 goals and earned All-MPSF second team honors. He scored a career-high six goals in the 2000 NCAA Tournament third-place match as USC defeated Navy, 15-9.
PREDRAG DAMJANOV - Sophomore two-meter Predrag Damjanov (Belgrade, Yugoslavia) has gotten off to a good start in the 2001 season, leading the team with 23 goals. Damjanov earned the season's first MPSF/Mikasa Player of the Week honor after recording four goals in two matches against No. 7 Long Beach State on Sept. 8 and at No. 9 UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 9. He scored the go-ahead goal in the second overtime period in a 7-6 decision against Long Beach State and scored the game-tying goal in the 5-4 win against UCSB. He recorded the tying goal with minutes remaining in regulation and the game-winning goal in triple overtime in a 9-8 win on Sept. 22 against No. 5 Pepperdine. In his freshman season, Damjanov finished third on the team in scoring with 31 goals and earned first team All-NCAA Tournament honors.
DANIEL LONTAY - Senior utility Daniel Lontay (Budapest, Hungary) is second on the team this season with 22 goals and finished tied for fourth on the Trojans last season in scoring with 30 goals. This year, he scored the game-winning goal on Sept. 9 with less than half a second remaining in a 5-4 win at No. 9 UC Santa Barbara.
BOZIDAR DAMJANOVIC - Sophomore Bozidar Damjanovic (Belgrade, Yugoslavia) is the Trojans' No. 1 goalie. After recording 83 saves in 16 matches as a freshman last year, Damjanovic has recorded 99 saves this season.