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Water Polo Claims GCC Crown Outright With Win at APU

SDSU captured the outright GCC regular-season crown with its win at Azusa Pacific.
SDSU captured the outright GCC regular-season crown with its win at Azusa Pacific.

April 16, 2014

AZUSA, Calif. - The No. T-19 SDSU Water Polo team defeated Azusa Pacific on the road, 9-5, Wednesday night to capture the Golden Coast regular-season championship outright. With their season-long sixth straight victory, the Aztecs improve to 22-10 and finish the GCC season with an unblemished 6-0 record. The Cougars, meanwhile, fall to 15-19 and 1-5 in league play.

SDSU, which has won nine of its last 10 games, claims its first-ever regular-season championship in program history and the first in Golden Coast history. It also clinches the top seed in next week's GCC Championship in Los Angeles, April 24-26, and receives a quarterfinal bye in the tournament, which means San Diego State will head straight to the semifinals where it will face the winner of the 4-5 game on Friday at 2:30 p.m. PT.

SDSU trailed, 4-2, after one quarter, but stormed back in the final three frames. After the initial deficit, the Aztecs outscored the Cougars, 7-1, which included three goals in the second. In fact, APU did not record another goal until there was 1:27 left in the third period.

Ioli Benekou, Nikole Ferarri and Taylor Gums led SDSU with a game-high-tying two goals apiece. Carina Carballo, Alyssa Diacono and Caroline Israels, meanwhile, all added a goal.

In the cage for San Diego State was Rachel Mitchell. The sophomore was steady as always, making a game-high-matching eight saves.

The Aztecs return to action on Friday, when they travel to 14th-ranked UC San Diego for the annual Harper Cup game. SDSU has won all 12 Harper Cup get-togethers and 21 straight overall vs. the Tritons. First sprint for the city showdown is slated for 6 p.m. PT at Canyonview Pool.

No. T-19 San Diego State 9, Azusa Pacific 5
Azusa, Calif.

SDSU 2-3-2-2--9
APU 4-0-1-0--5

SDSU goals: Benekou 2, Ferrari 2, Gums 2, Carballo, Diacono, Israels
APU goals: Whitney 2, Minekime, Slama, Hess

SDSU saves: Mitchell 8
APU saves: Margot 8