Men’s water polo set to host inaugural Pacific Cup

The Pacific Cup will be held on University of the Pacific’s Stockton Campus April 13.

The Pacific Cup, a one-of-a-kind, spring men’s water polo tournament, will be held on University of the Pacific’s Stockton Campus beginning at 10:30 a.m. April 13 at the Chris Kjeldsen Pool at the Douglass M. Eberhardt Aquatics Center.

“We are so excited and proud to be putting on a world-class event in hosting eight of the most accomplished teams in the country,” Pacific head coach James Graham said. “This is what makes us Water Polo U—the ability of our university, from the president to the athletic department to the university as a whole, to get behind our sport and make a truly incredible experience for the athletes, coaches and fans.”

The tournament showcases some of the best water polo players in the country with eight competing teams, featuring Pacific, Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA, UC Irvine, San Jose State and the United States Youth National Team.

In the opening round of games, the 2023 national champion Cal Bears will face off against the USA Youth National Team.

“We are looking forward to participating in the inaugural Pacific Cup,” Cal head coach Kirk Everist said. “This will be a great opportunity for all the teams to compete for a cup title. Pacific has done a fantastic job organizing this event and we are excited to participate.”

National runner-up UCLA will take on Big West champion UC Irvine. Stanford will play West Coast Conference champion San Jose State.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of the inaugural Pacific Cup,” Stanford assistant coach Matt Farmer said. “The caliber of competition is as good as it gets, featuring top-notch teams. It’s an honor to compete among the best and showcase our skills. This will also give our team great experience, which will be invaluable for us moving forward.”

Pacific will square off against the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation 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 Tigers were victorious in the last two meetings at home against the Trojans, winning the most recent home contest in 2022 by a 15-13 score.

The Pacific Cup will be a two-day competition. Prior to the event, a banquet will be held Friday, April 12 in the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center Ballroom.

For more information about the tournament, visit the tournament central page on the Pacific Athletics website. General admission tickets can be purchased here.