Not one, not two, not three, not four, not even five will slow them down. LeBron James could not even have imagined how successful the Trojans would have become in the water. The USC Men's Water Polo program is riding a five peat in heading into the 2013 season opening tournament Sunday in La Jolla, California.
Led by head Coach Jovan Vavic along with a slew of returning talent from last season including their netmidner James Clark and leading scorer Nikola Vavic, the Men's Water Polo team brings a veteran bunch to the pool looking to cement their place in history with sixth-straight national championships.
Vavic and his 2013 Trojans team carry a 31-match winnning streak into this season, following a perfect season (for only the second time ever, 2007) including an epic come-from-behind victory over UCLA for the title. An epic match that featured back-and-forth scoring amongst the pouring rain on the USC campus, with the Trojans entering this year now merely two national championships away from reaching their historic 100th athletic team title.
5-time defending NCAA champions USC men's water polo is picked No. 1 in the nation yet again. @USCWaterPolo opens the season Saturday.— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) September 3, 2013
The 2013 squad is trademarked by "strength, skill, smarts and stingy defense coupled with a culture of winning created from victorious season after victorious season", allowing the Trojans to rise up to the top of the rankings in the MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll, along with national consenus No. 1 heading into this weekends opening tilt.
Heading the campaign stands 12-time National Coach of the Year Jovan Vavic, as his troops have nothing but winning expectations for the season to come. It all starts with his son, and returning national player of the year Nikola, following a campaign in which he set the USC record for single-season goals and climbed up to No. 4 all-time in scoring at Troy while only 48 goals away from passing Juraj Zatovic for most goals in school history.
If that were not enough, the current senior class of Trojans that includes Jeremy Davie, Zach Lucas, Mace Rapsey, Nikola Vavic and Connor Virjee are all looking for the perfect string of national championships in their career. A prolific mark most recently vested by Peter Smith's USC Men's Tennis program from 2008-2012 (Daniel Nguyen, Steve Johnson) were the senior four-time champions for Troy.
In the midst of all this championship success, the Uytengsu Aquatics Center is being errected as we speak to don future Men's and Women's Water Polo championships along with Swimmind and Diving for decades to come. Just another athletic addition to the South Los Angeles campus in a historic #WePlay125 year for Trojan Athletics.
One of our own Conquest Chronicles writers, Darian Nourian, got the chance to speak with head coach Vavic before the season to chronicle his rise in the ranks along with his teams prospectus for the season. The opening slate of games taking place this weekend for the 2013 squad is featured below with plenty of highly-ranked foes lining the competition, including scrimmages with rivals and Final Four squads Cal and UCLA.
|09/07/13||vs. Cal Baptist||La Jolla, Calif.||1:00 p.m. PT|
|vs. Loyola Marymount||La Jolla, Calif.||4:30 p.m. PT|
|vs. California (scrimmage)||La Jolla, Calif.||6:00 p.m. PT|
|09/08/13||vs. Air Force||La Jolla, Calif.||12:30 p.m. PT|
|vs. Redlands||La Jolla, Calif.||4:30 p.m. PT|
|vs. UCLA (scrimmage)||La Jolla, Calif.||6:00 p.m. PT|
The biggest match up to look forward to this season however is when the Bruins and Trojans strap it up for all the marbels this season in Westwood, during the final tilt of the regular season on November 21st. This will take center stage, along with Football only one week later, amongst the Rivalry Week for these highly competitive title chasers.