Water polo: Air Force captures overtime victory at WWPA Championship

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A score from sophomore Alex Churnside with 1:04 remaining in the second overtime period gave the Air Force water polo team a 10-9 victory over Santa Clara Nov. 18 in the third-place game of the Western Water Polo Association Championship, hosted by the Falcons.

Air Force, which entered the contest as the tournament's fifth-seed, held the advantage throughout most of regulation. After Santa Clara, seeded second overall, cut their deficit to 3-2 late in the second period, the Falcons scored a pair of goals in the last minute before the half to take a 5-2 advantage.

After three periods, the Falcons still led 6-4, but the Broncos kept battling back. With Air Force holding an 8-6 advantage with just over two and a half minutes remaining, Santa Clara's Josh Early scored a pair of goals to tie the game for the first time and send the contest into overtime.

The Broncos gained their first lead of the game less than two minutes into the first overtime period, as Tommy Hendrickson gave Santa Clara a 9-8 advantage. The Falcons came back in the second overtime period, with sophomore Jack Hines tying the score at 9-9 before Churnside hit the game-winner.

Senior Clark Condict led Air Force against Santa Clara with three goals, while Hines and Churnside added two each. Also scoring for the Falcons against the Broncos were Sophmore Jason Fung, Senior Justin Berry and Freshman Bobby Geiger.

At the conclusion of the tournament, Condict and Berry were named to the all-tournament first team, while Churnside was named a second-team all-tournament selection.

The Falcons close their season with a 15-14 overall ledger, recording their best win total since 2003. Air Force's third-place finish at the WWPA Championship is also their best since 2003.

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