Marko Vavic competes for the University of Southern California water polo team.
The University of Southern California Trojans won the NCAA National Collegiate Water Polo Championship Sunday in dramatic fashion.
The semifinals featured a 2017 national collegiate championship rematch, but instead USC out-lasted the University of California, Los Angeles 8-7. The Trojans, appearing in their 14th consecutive championship game, then beat Stanford 14-12 in the final to raise the trophy.
From the four teams competing in the championship tournament, six student-athletes also represent Team USA on the USA Water Polo men’s national team. Having traveled the world competing together, they are both collegiate rivals and close friends.
Jack Turner, a junior goalkeeper at the University of California, San Diego, recorded 10 saves in the semifinal versus No. 1 Stanford. A two-time All-American, Turner led the Tritons to one of the best seasons in UC San Diego water polo history finishing with a 20-6 record.
Hannes Daube competes for the University of Southern California water polo team.
Alex Wolf, a junior goalkeeper at UCLA, is very familiar with the NCAA championship. He is a two-time national champion (2015, 2017) and last season’s tournament MVP. In the semifinal against USC, Wolf tied his career high with 16 saves.
Representing Stanford on the U.S. Men’s National Team are junior center Ben Hallock and senior attacker Dylan Woodhead. In the NCAA National Collegiate Championship, Hallock led the Cardinal with five goals, including four in the fourth quarter amidst Stanford’s near comeback. At 18 years old, Hallock was one of the youngest members of Team USA at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
The national champion USC Trojans team includes two members of the U.S. Men’s National Team: freshman driver Hannes Daube and sophomore driver Marko Vavic, both of whom earned NCAA All-Tournament First Team honors. Vavic, whose father Jovan is the legendary Trojan coach, led USC in scoring as a freshman (51 goals) and finishes this season as a close second (57 goals).
In just a few weeks, these six students-athletes will be back in the pool. This time as teammates on Team USA training for the important tournaments on their road to Tokyo 2020.