Colonials Begin 2004 with Four Matches at Navy Open
GW takes on St. Francis (NY), UC-Santa Cruz, Loyola Marymount, and Iona
Sept. 2, 2004
WASHINGTON, DC -
The GW men's water polo team begins its 2004 campaign with four matches at the Navy Open, held at Lejeune Hall and MacDonough Hall on the Naval Academy's campus in Annapolis, MD on Sept. 4-5. The Colonials will square off against St. Francis (NY) at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, with a matchup against UC-Santa Cruz to follow at 12:20 p.m. On Sunday, GW will battle Loyola Marymount at 12:05 p.m. and Iona at 3:20 p.m.
The Colonials return two of their top three scorers from a year ago in senior co-captain Nicholas Koenemann and junior John Hornberger. Koenemann led the squad with 66 total points in 2003, while Hornberger finished with 45. Senior co-captain Srdan Randic also returns. Randic will be one of the Colonials' top defenders, manning the two-meter defensive position. He contributed 26 points last season and had four blocks, the most blocks by a GW player that was not a goalkeeper.
GW's toughest matches in the event will come on Sunday, against Loyola Marymount and Iona. The Lions are the defending Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) champions and finished third at the 2003 NCAA Championship. They are ranked No. 8 in the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) preseason poll, but lost four of their top five scorers from a squad that ended 2003 with a 17-14 record. However, the Lions do return their top offensive threat, Endre Rex-Kiss, who notched 92 points (61 goals, 31 assists) and recorded 39 steals last season.
Iona finished 18-11 a year ago, but lost its top scorer and All-American, Chris Przekota (87 points), to graduation. The Gaels return their second-leading scorer, Kamil Kulczycki (83 points), and his brother, sophomore Damian Kulczycki, who tallied 25 goals and 24 assists in 2003.
St. Francis (NY) was ousted in the semifinals of the 2003 CWPA Eastern Championship and enters 2004 ranked No. 15 in the CWPA's preseason voting.
UC-Santa Cruz finished with an overall record of 16-22 last year and ended the campaign ranked second in the nation among Division III water polo programs. The CWPA tabbed the Slugs No. 3 in this year's preseason Division III poll.
The Colonials split its four matches at the Navy Open in 2003. GW posted wins against Toronto (16-6) and Fordham (11-7), while losing to St. Francis (NY), 17-7, and MIT, 9-8, in sudden-death overtime.
Other teams competing in this weekend's 20-team field include, Long Beach State, Gannon, Johns Hopkins, and Bucknell, among others.
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