Long Beach State Ascends Into National Rankings
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Long Beach State vaulted into the Collegiate Water Polo Association national rankings this week, stationed at No. 12 after a 2-2 performance at last week's Triton Invitational. The 49ers face No. 2 USC on Saturday in a challenging home opener.
Light But Loaded Schedule For Women’s Water Polo This Week
Only six games dot the Big West women’s water polo schedule this week, a light fare after a smorgasbord of contests at the Triton Invitational last week. But half of those games take place against the nation’s top three teams.
Long Beach State hosts No. 2 USC in its home opener on Saturday, while UC Irvine travels to No. 3 UCLA. Pacific hosts top-ranked Stanford on Sunday. Cal State Northridge hosts a doubleheader against Cal State Bakersfield and Occidental, and Pacific welcomes Cal Baptist to round out this week’s ledger.
The prestigious 16-team UC Irvine Invitational is next on deck February 26-27. Nine of the nation’s top 10 squads and 15 of the top 20 compete in that event.
Long Beach State Vaults Up Poll
Long Beach State knocked off a pair of Big West foes, and nearly upended a third at the Triton Invitational hosted by UC San Diego last weekend. The 49ers downed then-No. 12 UC Santa Barbara 5-2 in the tournament opener, and later defeated then-No. 13 Cal State Northridge by a 10-7 count. LBSU lost a heartbreaking 8-7 decision to No. 11 UC Irvine in the fifth place game. The performance helped LBSU skyrocket up the Collegiate Water Polo Association poll, going from receiving votes to No. 12 this week. It is tied for the program’s highest ranking in five years.
All Six Big West Teams Ranked
With Long Beach State’s ascension into the national rankings, all six Big West clubs are included in the Collegiate Water Polo Association poll. UC Irvine, winners of five of its last six, sports a 6-2 record and is ranked the highest of all conference schools at No. 11. Cal State Northridge is tied with LBSU for the No. 12 spot, while UC Santa Barbara checks in at No. 14. UC Davis, which is in the midst of a 22-day break from competition, is ranked No. 17. Pacific remained at No. 19 in the poll.
Big West Owns Automatic Qualification To NCAA Championship
The Big West fulfilled a two-year waiting period to earn automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship, meaning the winner of this year’s conference tournament will receive one of eight slots in the national tournament. The third annual Big West Tournament is set for April 29-May 1 in Santa Barbara.