LOS ANGELES, CA– The No. 4 Pepperdine Waves upset the top three teams in the country en route to winning the Southern California Water Polo Tournament championship on Sunday.
In the championship game, Pepperdine defeated the No. 2 Trojans, 8-7. In the semifinal, the Waves upset top-ranked California, 8-6, and in round-robin play, they defeated No. 3 Stanford, 8-3.
The key play for Pepperdine in the final against USC was senior driver Andy Bruininga’s 2-pointer with 31 seconds left in the third quarter. It broke a 4-4 tie, and the Waves never looked back. USC sophomore driver Thiago Hornos’ goal with 1:32 left brought the Trojans back within one goal at 8-7, but they weren’t able to tie it on subsequent chances.
In the third-place game, California pounded UC Irvine, 12-7. Stanford defeated UCLA, 10-6, for fifth place, while UC Santa Barbara edged UC San Diego, 7-6, in the seventh-place game. In the ninth-place game, Air Force beat Long Beach State, 10-8, on a last-second shot in overtime. In the final contest of the tournament, the 11th place game, UC Davis bested Claremont, 13-7.