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.
The contentious relationship between Major League Baseball owners and players has apparently healed to the point that there is renewed hope the sides can agree on a course for a 2020 season.Commissioner Rob Manfred and Tony Clark, head of the Players’ Assn., met for several hours on Tuesday in Phoenix, and Manfred issued a statement on Wednesday characterizing the talks as productive.“We left that meeting with a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and subject to conversations with our respective constituents,” Manfred said. “I summarized that framework numerous times in the meeting and sent Tony a written summary today. Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the Clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same.”The offer is for a 60-game season, starting July 19, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. Players would receive their full pro-rated salaries — which would be about 37 percent of their full-season salary — and there would be expanded playoffs in 2020 and 2021, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Angels manager Joe Maddon questions defensive metrics that rate Mike Trout poorly Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter It is possible MLB would have to increase the number of games in their offer to get the players to agree.MLB’s latest proposal also includes implementing the DH in both leagues in 2020 and 2021, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.The news came just two days after Manfred said on ESPN that he was losing confidence in reaching an agreement with the players over the terms of the sport’s return amid the coronavirus pandemic.Compensation was the heart of the issue, with players insisting on receiving their full pro-rated salaries, while owners sought further pay cuts in light of the likelihood of playing games in empty stadiums.On Monday, Manfred said the players had been negotiating in “bad faith” and Clark responded that the players were “disgusted” by Manfred backtracking on his promise from last week that he was “100 percent” certain there would be a season. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels fail to take series in Oakland, lose in 10 innings How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire The two reportedly had a face-to-face meeting in Arizona on Tuesday to help bridge the gap.According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the two sides were “closing in” on an agreement on Wednesday morning. Evan Drellich of The Athletic reported that a new proposal had just been sent from owners, and that there is “no agreement even in principle at this point.”Players would like to receive their full pro-rated salaries for as many games as possible. Players are already losing at least half of their full salaries because the pandemic has already wiped out at least half of the scheduled 162 games.Owners have offered reduced salaries or a shortened schedule of as little as 48 games. Owners could unilaterally impose a schedule, but they would be subject to a grievance from players that they did not make their “best efforts” to schedule as many games as possible.The bridge may have been an expansion of the playoffs. Adding an extra round of postseason play could add significant revenue from television, helping compensate for the lack of fans. The players need to approve any change to the playoff format.Even if the financial and logistical terms are agreed upon, there is still the looming threat of the coronavirus. The virus is still spreading quickly in many states, including California, Arizona, Texas and Florida, states that are home to 10 of the 30 major league teams.Related Articles