THE Ansa McAL-sponsored Lucozade Handicap tournament closed out yesterday with Nicholas Narain (-15) being crowned king after a three-game point-for-point battle that had spectators spellbound with the standard of play.Daniel Ince took the plate title, while Louis DaSilva achieved his first title in the Category A group and Lajuan Munroe nabbed the A plate.Nicholas Verwey (-10) was truly a worthy opponent in the ultimate match-up for the title; showing evidence of his disciplined training regime and enthusiasm for the game.Narain tactically kept Verwey off the T and worked him around the whole court in the first game.Verwey’s retrieval skills kept the rallies running long and often 20 plus shots were kept in play by either player performing the almost impossible. In the second, Verwey used his drops effectively and worked Narain into the corners to secure his win. The third game of an outstanding match of great depth, great squash and great athletes, landed on the side of the experienced Narain for the 15/14, 13/15, 15/11 win.In the open plate, after a game apiece, tired legs from both players in the third between Daniel Ince (-9) and Ian Mekdeci (-4) slowed down what had been a fast-paced clash. Ince took the first in smooth fashion with tight lengths and low drops.Mekdeci pulled it back in second pushing to hold Ince off at 15/14. Relying on talent in the decider rather than fitness, Ince was able to move up his deficit and close off the game at 15/9, 14/15, 15/11.The title of the Category A was earned by a much improved Louis DaSilva (-8) over Zachary Persaud (-8).DaSilva came out strong and played a clever tactical game from the outset, placing his shots to get them past Persaud. Persaud came out determined in the second game and made his bid to stay in the game with tighter play which set him ahead. DaSilva kept his head and worked away to even out and eventually push in the last two points to close off in straight games 15/6, 15/14.For the Category A plate, Joshua Verwey made a valiant effort with good lengths against eventual winner, Lajuan Munroe.Munroe forced young Verwey into every corner of the court, working him through most of the rallies; Verwey stuck with it and kept the scores close. Munroe managed a 13/15 win in the first and Verwey answered with a 15/14 win in the second but couldn’t quite hold on in the third and conceded the decider. Munroe triumphed 15/13, 14/15, 15/12.Results for Sunday’s playOpen CategoryWinner: Nicholas NarainSecond Place: Nicholas VerweyThird place: Deje DiasFourth Place: Gianni CarpenterOpen PlateWinner: Daniel InceSecond Place: Ian MekdeciThird place: Kirsten GomesFourth Place: Ethan JonasCategory AWinner: Louis DaSilvaSecond: Place Zachary PersaudThird place: Shiloh AsregadoFourth Place: Matthew SpoonerCategory A PlateWinner: Lajuan MunroeSecond Place: Joshua VerweyThird Place: Teija EdwardsFourth Place: Angel RahaminOpen CategoryNicholas Narain (-15) defeated Nicholas Verwey (-10) 15/14, 13/15, 15/11Deje Dias (-15) defeated Gianni Carpenter (5) 15/, 15/Open PlateDaniel Ince (-9) defeated Ian Mekdeci (-4) 15/9, 14/15, 15/11Kirsten Gomes (0) defeated Ethan Jonas (4) 15/9, 12/15, 15/12Category ALouis DaSilva (-8) defeated Zachary Persaud (-8) 15/6, 15/14Shiloh Asregado (3) defeated Matthew Spooner (9) 15/8, 15/6Category A PlateLajuan Munroe (5) defeated Joshua Verwey (3) 15/13, 14/15, 15/12Teija Edwards (0) defeated Angel Rahamin (2) 13/15, 15/12, 15/9
Freshman driver Orestis Apergi currently has 8 goals over five games so far this season. (Emily Smith | Daily Trojan)Following four impressive victories this past weekend at the Aggie RoundUp, the top ranked men’s water polo team looks to continue its dominance in Saturday’s match against No. 6 Pacific at Uytengsu Aquatic Center.The Trojans boast an undefeated record through 11 games, despite facing tough competition from teams such as No. 7 UC Santa Barbara and No. 8 UC Davis. The Trojan’s success in tournament play has come from the contributions of a variety of players. In last weekend’s game against UC Davis, 10 different players scored to propel the Trojans to a 16-9 victory. Freshman goalie Sam Krutonog has also been a standout for the Trojans. In their 10-3 win against UC Santa Barbara at the Aggie Roundup, Krutonog made a career-high 10 saves, resulting in his selection as MPSF Newcomer of the Week. Krutonog is the second consecutive Trojan to be nominated for this award after freshman driver Hannes Daube’s performance the previous week.Against Pacific, another challenging opponent, the Trojans seek to achieve the same focus, preparation and cooperative effort that propelled them to prior victories.“It’s a lot of mental preparation, watching a lot of game footage,” redshirt junior two-meter Sam Slobodien said. “We prepare every day in and out of the water for two or three hours. I just have to focus every day, watch game film, prepare mentally, physically, emotionally. We’re all there, we’ve trained all summer.”The Tigers, who are 5-3 on the season, are coming off of two back-to-back close losses in the Aggie RoundUp against No. 3 Cal and No. 7 UC Santa Barbara. Two of their losses this season have come against the Bears. The Tigers are led offensively by redshirt sophomore utility Luke Pavillard and junior attacker Engin Ege Colak. Ege Colak has remained one of the Tigers’ leading scorers since 2016, when he was selected as the 2016 Golden Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year.Securing a victory against this talented Pacific team is crucial for the Trojans, as they aim to defend their No. 1 spot in the NCAA rankings.“It would be huge,” said Slobodien of the opportunity to beat a top competitor. “It’s the first real matchup of the year. We’re really excited for it, and we just hope to play well. That’s what we do every time we go out there.”With so many talented players on the Trojans’ roster, the team is aiming to play cohesively and take advantage of their opportunities to put up points.“We just have to be one as a team,” Slobodien said. “We have to play unselfishly and finish our high-percentage opportunities.”Slobodien also plays an important role as a leader of his team. “My goal is to get all of the guys behind us,” he said. “We all have one common goal and that is to win a national championship.”The match begins 1 p.m. Saturday at Uytengsu Aquatic Center.