Men’s water polo reveals inaugural Pacific Cup with live draw

Men’s water polo reveals inaugural Pacific Cup with live draw

The Pacific Cup, a one-of-a-kind, spring men’s water polo tournament, will be held on the Stockton Campus April 13-14 after a live draw on Tuesday at the Alex and Jeri Vereschagin Alumni House unveiled the elite eight-team bracket.

University of the Pacific will face USC in the first round.

“We’re super excited about the inaugural Pacific Cup,” University of the Pacific President Christopher Callahan said. “When we first talked about this idea, [Pacific coach] James Graham thought of this as not just a one-time grand event, but a continuation for years to come. I have no doubt under his leadership that that is exactly what will happen.”

The competing teams include Pacific, Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA, UC Irvine, San Jose State and the United States Youth National Team.

“We look forward to intense competition at the Pacific Cup,” Graham said. “Every player wants to be training for a reason. This gives an opportunity for every team involved in our tournament to be training and go after a goal near the end of their spring semester.”

The live draw saw the matchups revealed on the official game bracket.

Group A and Group B were formed through the suspenseful process of the live blind draw conducted by Callahan and Pacific Director of Athletics Adam Tschuor.

“It’s such a competitive tournament to have,” said junior student-athlete Declan McJilton ’25. “The top teams in the country are coming together and I think we’re going to get some really high-quality water polo out of this event.”

The 2023 national champion Cal Bears will face the USA Youth National Team. National runner-up UCLA will take on Big West champion UC Irvine. Stanford will play West Coast Conference champion San Jose State. Pacific will square off against the MPSF champion and national semifinalist USC.

“I love it,” Graham said. “USC is a storied program. It’s an exciting team to play. We are going to be ready for them. We have had some great success against USC at our house.”

The Pacific Cup will be a two-day competition at the Chris Kjeldsen Pool at the Douglass M. Eberhardt Aquatics Center. Prior to the event, a banquet will be held Friday, April 12 in the DeRosa University Center Ballroom.

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