Six of the eight teams competed last week and five of those teams at the Triton Invite in San Diego, the Big West had all eight teams in the top-20 rankings of the Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) this week. UC Irvine continues to lead ranked No. 6 since the preseason, while San Diego State follows in the 7 slot for just as long. Long Beach State competed for the first time this season going 3-1 last week, moving to the 11 spot after only receiving votes since preseason polls.
LONG BEACH KICKS-OFF SEASON STRONG
Long Beach State kicked off the season last week with the best start since 2008 going 3-1 at the Triton Invitational against four ranked opponents. Junior Chelsea Parks led the way for the 49er’s with 9 of the teams 33 goals over the four games played. She achieved a game-high four goals against conference foe Cal State Northridge in a 10-8 OT win, and continued to battle for the her team in the final match for fifth place against the Gauchos sealing a 10-8 victory.
CLIMBING IN NUMBERS
Two coaches are close to milestones in overall wins with UC Irvine head coach Dan Klatt just 7 overall wins from his 100th win and Long Beach State’s coach Gavin Arroyo just 4 wins shy of 50 overall wins. Klatt has been with the Big West since 2009 leading all current coaches in overall (93) and conference (17) wins. Arroyo and the 49ers will be at the Lancer Invite this weekend with a chance to clinch his 50th win in the four-game week.
UC IRVINE TO HOST BIG WEST TOURNAMENT
The Anteaters will host this season’s post-season tournament at the Anteater Aquatics Complex, April 26-28th. The ‘Eaters have dominated all four seasons as tournament champs, this being the first time the ‘Eaters will host the conference tournament. Last season Irvine made a post-season run finishing fourth at the NCAA Tournament.