Men’s water polo runs win streak to nine

Fanfu Shentu | Daily Trojan

Rounding off another perfect weekend, the second-ranked men’s water polo team continued its winning run to advance to 9-0 on the season after facing No. 15 Cal Baptist and MIT on Saturday and Santa Clara and No. 6 Long Beach State on Sunday. Despite facing two top-ranked teams, the Trojans were not fazed and continued sticking to their system to get the wins.

USC started off the weekend with a bang as different players scored the team’s first nine goals against Cal Baptist. The Trojans showed their depth of skill not only on the scoring front, but also in the cage. Senior goalie McQuin Baron had seven saves by the end of the game and became the program’s all-time saves leader, passing previous holder Joel Dennerley, who played on the team from 2008 to 2011.

By the end of the tournament, Baron had not only passed the previous record of 855 saves, but had also gone well on his way to exceeding that record. He finished the tournament with his 869th goal and is quickly proving it will be difficult for anyone to match his tally. Throughout the tournament, the Trojans did not hold anything back. On Sunday, 12 players scored against Santa Clara, and eight made their mark against Long Beach State. Many players, like sophomore 2-meter man Matt Maier, ended with 10 goals by the end of the tournament. Others, like senior 2-meter man Lachlan Edwards and redshirt sophomore driver Daniel Leong, who put up 17 goals combined, made their mark on the games this last weekend.

Their closest match of the tournament came at the end against No. 6 Long Beach State. The two finally faced during the season after a handful of scrimmages over the summer. The game was tied in the first half three separate times by the 49ers, but the Trojans finished the half with a strong run to give them the lead before finishing the period.

USC returned with the same energy in the second half that would eventually shut the 49ers out for the entirety of the fourth period and clinch the Trojans their final victory of the tournament.

After a long, but successful weekend, the Trojans have to turn around and prepare for both a solo game on Thursday and hosting the MPSF tournament this weekend at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.