Water polo tournament watch party at newly renovated Lair

men's water polo

Men's water polo in the Chris Kjeldsen Pool at the Douglass M. Eberhardt Aquatics Center

University of the Pacific is inviting students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans to gather in the Lair at 5 p.m. Saturday to cheer on the nationally ranked men’s water polo team in the Golden Coast Conference tournament.

Attendees will get to enjoy the broadcast on new state-of-the-art technology, including a 16,000-Lumen Panasonic laser projector with a 16-foot screen and six 70” 4K ultra high-definition video displays.

The Lair is the popular pub and grill located on the second floor of the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center. Saturday will be the premier of the new technology and the first of a series of Pacific Tiger away games that will be broadcast live in the DeRosa Center.

The Lair will open at 4 p.m. Saturday, an hour before game time. 

Pacific, ranked first in the conference and No. 7 in the nation, will face the winner of Friday’s GCC opening game between No. 13 UC Irvine and No. 9 Pepperdine. Saturday’s winner will play 2 p.m. Sunday for the GCC championship, hosted by UC Santa Barbara. The GCC tournament winner will earn an automatic berth into the seven-team NCAA championship field.

The Tigers, which were ranked as high as No. 3 nationally a few weeks ago, is the only team other than the four traditional national water polo powers – Cal, Stanford, UCLA and USC – to compete in the national championship game over the past 21 years.

Often called Water Polo U, Pacific was the national championship runner-up in 2019 and 2013.

Three stars from this year’s team have been named to the watchlist for the Peter J. Cutino Award, which honors the best NCAA water polo player. Senior Bogdan Djerkovic, a mechanical engineering major from Ottawa, Canada, leads the team with 55 goals. Senior co-captain Jeremie Cote, a business major from Montreal, is third in points. Sophomore co-captain Reuel D’Souza, a health and exercise science major from British Columbia, leads the team with 85 points. All play for the Canadian National Team and competed in the 2022 Fina World League Super Final.

Cal and USC are the only other teams with three players on the 20-athlete Cutino Award watchlist.