SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A strong showing at last weekend's Triton Invitational saw the No. 7 UC Santa Barbara men's water polo team jump three spots in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) national rankings. The Gauchos were led by senior driver Boris Jovanovic, who was named the GCC Player of the Week for his efforts during opening weekend.
Jovanovic paced UCSB with nine goals through four games, leading the Gauchos to a 3-1 mark and a second-place finish down in San Diego. He found the scoresheet in all four outings, providing three multi-goal efforts.
The Novi Sad, Serbia native put away a pair of third quarter goals against No. 6 Long Beach State which would prove to be crucial, as UCSB went on to defeat its first ranked opponent of the season, 11-10. Jovanovic would explode for four goals against No. 3 Cal, as the Gauchos sniffed an early-season upset before eventually falling, 12-9. He also scored twice in an 18-6 season-opening win over Redlands and once in a 9-6 victory over Loyola Marymount.
UCSB, which started the year with a No. 10 ranking in the CWPA Men's Varsity Polls, had the biggest jump of any team following the first weekend of play. The Gauchos leapfrogged over fellow GCC programs No. 10 UC Irvine and No. 8 Pepperdine. Santa Barbara now owns the third-highest ranking in the GCC, behind only No. 6 LBSU and No. 5 Pacific.
The Gauchos head back on the road this weekend for four matches at the Inland Empire Classic in La Verne, beginning with Chapman on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 10:20 a.m.