LOS ANGELES, Sept. 15. DANTE Dettamante may have left the deck but John Vargas is proving to be a more than capable replacement.
Dettamante, who retired as Stanford men's water polo coach last year after winning a record-tying eighth NCAA Championship (and the Cardinal's ninth overall), has been replaced by former Corona del Mar High headman John Vargas — but the beat still goes on and on and on.
In the finals of the So-Cal Tournament this evening at the McDonald's Olympic Swim Stadium on the campus of USC, Stanford toppled Coach Ed Newlin's U Cal Irvine Anteaters, 10-6.
Stanford, ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Water Polo Assn.'s Coaches' poll, is now 6-zip for the season. Irvine, which last won the NCAA Championship in 1989 and which had opened last weekend at home with an impressive victory over then No. 2-ranked UCLA, is 5-1.
Stanford reached the finals with a hard-fought 8-7 win over No. 4 California. Irvine, scoring a pair of goals in the final quarter, held off UOP in the other semifinal match.
Cal overcame a 6-4 UOP halftime lead to take third place in the tournament with a hard-fought 9-7 win.
In the fifth-place match, UCLA defeated USC in overtime, 8-7.
Stanford got a big lift in the finals from junior Mike Derse, who scored three goals. U.S. National team members Tony Azevedo, Peter Hudnut and senior Jeff Guyman added two apiece and Nesmith tallied one. Nick Ellis remained strong in goal, recording three saves as the Cardinal won handily.
Irvine's "big gun" was driver Jeff Powers, an All-America two years ago who sat out last season, with three goals and teammate Dreason Barry scored twice.
– Bill Bell
Sept. 15, 2002
CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL (1)
Cal (2-1) 0-2-1-4—7
Stanford (5-0) 1-4-1-2—8
Cal Goals: Will Quist 3, Attila Banhidy 3, Andrew Stoddard
Stan Goals: Peter Hudnut 3, Tony Azevado 3, Greg Crum, Jeff Nesmith
Cal Saves: Tim Kates 6
Stan Saves: Nick Ellis 9
CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL (2)
UC Irvine (4-0) 3-3-1-2—9
Pacific (3-1) 3-3-1-1—8
UCI Goals: Dreason Barry 4, Rick Merlo, Garrett Gentry, Dan Noon, Phil Garcia, Jeff Powers
UOP Goals: Nic Hepner 3, Sasha Maese 3, Chris Nowak, Eddie Wisniewski
UCI Saves: Doug Finfrock 5
UOP Saves: Laurie Trettel 9
UC Irvine (4-1) 2-3-0-1—6
Stanford (6-0) 4-3-1-2—10
Stanford Scoring: Mike Derse 3, Tony Azevedo 2, Peter Hudnut 2, Jeff Guyman 2, Jeff Nesmith 1.
UCI scorers: Jeff Powers 3, Dreason Barry 2, Garrett Gentry 1.
Goalie Saves: Nick Ellis (Stan) 3
FIFTH-PLACE MATCH (Overtime)
UCLA (3-2) 3-3-1-0-2-0—9
USC (6-2) 0-3-3-1-0-0—7
UCLA Goals: Michael March 3, Brett Ormsby 2, Matt Flesher 2, Albert Garcia, Peter Belden
USC Goals: Jaraj Zatovic 3, Predrag Damjanov, Cameron Kaiser, Gadi Hadar, Jordan Hewko
UCLA Saves: Brandon Brooks 13
USC Saves: Bozidar Damjanovic 4
Game #21 – Third-Place Match
Pacific (3-2) 4-2-1-0—7
Cal (3-1) 1-3-3-2—9
UOP Goals: Eddie Wisniewski 3, Jarrod Cruzat 2, Nic Hepner 2
Cal Goals: Chris Lathrop 3, Attila Banhady 2, Will Quist 2, Andrew Stoddard, Rob Arroyo
UOP Saves: Laurie Trettel 7
Cal Saves: Russell Bernstein 9
Game #23 – Ninth-Place Match
Navy (5-3) 4-4-6-0—14
Loyola Marymount (3-5) 1-0-0-2—3
Navy Goals: Joe Donahue 3, Adrian Rawn 2, Paul Kepner 2, Patrick Rollo 2, Alex Ratcliffe 2, Joe Snelgrove, Ben Ceniseroz, Tim Fox
LMU Goals: Eric Lefebvre, Endre Rex-Kiss, Trevor Wagner
Navy Saves: Cody Acuna 6
LMU Saves: Kevin Paulsen 5
Game #24 – 11th-Place Match
UC Santa Barbara (2-4) 6-2-1-2—11
UC San Diego (4-6) 2-2-3-3—10
UCSB Goals: Anthony Borasi 3, Mark Welch 3, Doug Arthur 2, David Letts 2, Steven Traverso
UCSD Goals: Jonathan Hopkins 3, Clark Petersen 2, Brandon Borson 2, Matt Ellis 2, Kevin Smoker