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LMU Wraps Up Successful Fall

Dec. 10, 2002

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Los Angeles, CA (Dec. 10) - In the Fall of 2001, Loyola Marymount University made a commitment to host the 2002 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championships. What began as a quest to host a first-class event turned into an exclamation point on a record fall sports season for the Lions.

The NCAA Championship, hosted at the Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center had a two-day attendance over 4,800, including a sell-out of the championship on Sunday. When Stanford defeated California 7-6 to win their 10th title, in put to conclusion a very successful tournament. With a complete campus effort, everything from parking to the giant water polo balloon at the Loyola Boulevard entrance, the water polo community left wanting more.

"We couldn't have been more pleased with the results of the water polo championship," said Athletic Director Bill Husak. "The only way we were going to be as successful as we were was to receive a complete effort from the entire LMU community. The effort and commitment they made to this championship was above anything anyone could have ever expected. I am proud to be a Lion and this campus deserves all the praise for hosting one of the best championships."

With the final pieces of the tournament being carried away, there is still plenty of evidence of how positive the fall season was for LMU.

The Lions finished with a combined record of 57-38-5 (.595), the best winning percentage in dual competitions in the history of the athletic program. Both the men and women's soccer teams qualified for the NCAA College Cup. It was the first trip for the women's team, who finished the season 10-7-3.

For the men, they earned their second straight trip to the tournament and advanced to the second round with a 1-0 win over Cal State Northridge. It was the first team to advance in an NCAA tournament since the women's volleyball team did it in 1999. They finished the season 15-4-2, the best record in program history.

In addition, senior Jeff Kovar from the men's soccer team earned first-team Verizon Academic All-America honors. The biology major has a 3.85 grade point average while being named to the West Coast Conference all-conference team all four years at LMU. He was the first Academic All-American since Tracy Holman (volleyball) in 1996-97.

The men's water polo team finished second in the Western Water Polo Association championship, wrapping up with a record of 17-15. Senior Kevin Witt was named the WWPA Player of the Year, the second straight time a Lion earned that honor. Senior Kevin Paulsen won the honor a year ago.

All told 22 LMU athletes from men's water polo, men's soccer, women's soccer and women's volleyball earned all-conference honors, three more than last year's record.

More honors should be coming, as the West Coast Conference will announce the Fall All-Academic selections this month.



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