Navy Posts Strong Effort at 2010 U.S. Water Polo 20 and Under National Championship
MISSION VIEJO, Calif. -- The United States Naval Academy water polo team is in the midst of wrapping up its preseason training, competing in a pair of USA Water Polo National Championships while in California. Navy just concluded the 20 & Under National Championship, and will compete in the USA Water Polo Men's Nationals tournament this weekend.
Navy started the 20 & Under National Championship with a bang, routing Foothills Water Polo club, 18-4, in the opening round. Archie Warren and Kyle Wertz led Navy with three goals each, and the Mids dominated the smaller club from the outset.
Navy then ran into one of the tournament's top teams, Newport, in the next round. Navy trailed just 6-5 right before halftime, when a pair of defensive breakdowns cost the Mids a pair of goals and Newport took an 8-5 lead at halftime. Newport outscored Navy, 4-0, in the third quarter, before the Mids rallied in the fourth quarter to cut the final margin to 13-8. Wertz, Archie Warren and Erich Schwamb tallied twice for the Midshipmen.
The Midshipmen faced a must-win contest against UC-Davis in the next round, and Navy took advantage of a strong third period to secure a 10-9 victory. The Mids trailed 4-3 at halftime, but outscored UC-Davis, 3-1 in the third quarter, to take a 6-5 lead into the fourth quarter. The Aggies netted three straight goals for an 8-6 cushion, but Navy responded with three straight of its own for a 9-8 lead late in the game. After UC-Davis tied the game at 9-9, Navy scored on a breakaway with 49 seconds left, and the Mids stopped an Aggies' extra-man opportunity for the remainder of the game for the 10-9 victory. Chase Hansen had a crucial save late in the game in goal and Wertz tallied five goals while Warren had a pair.
Playing its third game in just eight hours against high-level competition, the Mids ran out of steam in a 12-5 setback to Pepperdine, the third seed overall. The Mids went just 1-of-9 on extra-man chances and couldn't generate much energy, falling to the fifth-place game. Navy, however, responded with a convincing 18-10 victory over a team from Cal Baptist. Navy broke open a tight game late in the half with a pair of goals and Cal Baptist would get no closer than three goals in the second half. Wertz continued his strong tournament with four goals and the Warren brothers, Archie and Arny, each had three goals.
The victory gave Navy a fifth-place finish in the event.
Release courtesy Navy Athletic Communications