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IRVINE, Calif. — The McKendee University men’s water polo team used a balanced offensive attack to post a 13-10 win over Westcliff University in the first game of the Bearcats’ trip to Southern California at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center.

Seven different Bearcats scored a goal, including graduate student Uros Pelemis (Belgrade, Serbia/Fresno Pacific University) scoring four times and senior Nico Rodriguez (Bogota, Colombia/Oviedo), senior Tristen Clue (Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills) and senior Matthew Haygood (Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills) each put away pairs in the win.

The Bearcats offense was efficient as the team took 26 shots and scored 13 goals for a shooting percentage of 50 percent. Westcliff finished the game with a 42 percent shooting percentage with 10 goals on 24 shots.

Pelemis and senior Tony Sunagawa (Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills) scored the first two strikes of the game for the Bearcats as they led 2-0 just three-plus minutes into the contest. Westcliff scored twice in a span 32 seconds later in the first quarter to tie the game at two-all.

The Bearcats added two more goals in the second quarter by Pelemis to hold a 4-2 lead by halftime.

Back-to-back goals by Rodriguez to open the third quarter built the margin to four (6-2), but Westcliff rallied to score twice to move back within a pair (6-4). However, sophomore Adam Serrano (Riverside, Calif./Poly) and Clue closed out the third quarter with back-to-back strikes to rebuild the lead to four at 8-4 through three quarters of action.

The Bearcats pulled away in the opening moments of the fourth quarter as McKendree scored four of the first five goals, including back-to-back goals in a span of two minutes from Haygood, to push its lead to 12-5.

The Warriors would not go away as the team scored five of the final six goals, including tallying four in the final two minutes of action.

Fifth-year senior Ori Scanlon (Orlando, Fla./Olympia) played all 32 minutes in goal and recorded six saves, while Roberto Barrera went the distance in net for the Warriors with six saves.

Luca Silvestri scored six of Westcliff’s 10 goals, including four of his team’s six fourth quarter tallies. In addition to Silvestri, Djordje Mitrovic added two goals.  Casey Hammond and Vincenzo Inguanta both recorded two assists in the game.

Release courtesy McKendree University Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association