Nov. 15, 2007
Complete Release in PDF Format
The Loyola Marymount University men's water polo team, ranked 12th in the latest national poll, will open the 2007 Western Water Polo Association Championship as the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 seed and 20th-ranked Redlands in the opening round on Friday at 2:30 p.m. (PT) The tournament is being hosted in Colorado at the Air Force Academy and will run through Sunday, Nov. 18 with the championship game at 2:00 p.m. (PT)
INSIDE THE LIONS
LMU is 10-15 on the 2007 season and sit at the No. 12 spot in the national rankings. The Lions finished the regular season with the longest game in program history, a six-overtime heartbreaker to No. 7 Long Beach State. On the season, 14 of the Lions' 15 setbacks have come against teams currently ranked in the nation's top-10. All 14 have come by an average of just under three goals a game. The Lions have actually led or have been tied in the fourth quarter in 10 of those 15 games. Leading the way for the Lions is junior Mark Milovic, a first-team All-WWPA selection. He did a litle of everything for the Lions, sitting second on the squad with 25 goals. On defense, goalie Andy Stevens, who has been named the Western Water Polo Association Newcomer of the Year, is second in the WWPA and the nation with 11.2 saves per game and is ranked seventh in the nation with 241 saves. Offensively, the Lions are led by freshman Tibor Forai. He moved his team-leading total to 40, while earning second-team All-WWPA honors and All-Freshman Team honors.
The Lions will be facing Redlands for the first time this season and for the 29th time overall. LMU holds a 17-11 edge in he series, winning the last three and 12 of the last 13. The Lions won the first match-up in the series in 1990, 8-7. Redlands enters the tournament 21-12 overall and ranked 20th in the country.
IN THE WWPAs
Here is a look at the Lions, year-by-year, in the WWPA Championships:
2006 - 2-1 - Lost in finals to UCSD
2005 - 3-0 - Won WWPA title
2004 - 3-0 - Won WWPA title
2003 - 3-0 - Won WWPA title
2002 - 2-1 - Lost in finals to UCSD
2001 - 3-0 - Won WWPA title
2000 - 2-1 - Lost in finals to UCSD
1999 - 2-1 - Lost in semisfinals to AFA
1998 - 2-1 - Lost in quarterfinals to UCSC
1997 - 2-1 - Lost in semifinals to UCD
1996 - Did not play
1995 - 1-2 - Lost in quarterfinals to AFA
1994 - 1-2 - Lost in quarterfinals to UCD
1993 - 0-3 - Lost in quarterfinals to AFA
1992 - DNP
1991 - 0-3 - Lost in quarterfinals to AFA
1990 - 0-3 - Lost in quarterfinals to AFA
1989 - 1-2 - Lost in quarterfinals to UCSD
1988 - 1-2 - Lost in quarterfinals to CMS
Totals: 28-23 overall
Lion seniors Shaun Flood and Rory Kelly along with redshirt junior John Prunckle will be playing their final games in this final month of the college water polo season. Flood has played in 97 games and has scored 54 goals in his LMU career. He has also added 37steals and 19 kickouts. As for Kelly, the transfer from Golden West Community College, he enters the final stretch of the season with 20 goals, 13 coming this senior season. A great defender, Kelly has tallied 41 steals in less than two seasons. He has a team-high 35 this season. Goalie John Prunckle earned just his second start of the season and led the 10th-ranked Loyola Marymount men's water polo team to a 9-4 win over Western Water Polo Association rival and 14th-ranked UC San Diego. He then earned his third start against Air Force. Prunckle, a fourth-year junior who had played in just five games this season, earned the start and made 10 saves and allowed just four goals to help LMU end a three-game skid overall and a four-game skid at home against UCSD. On the season he has made 41 saves and allowed just 15 goals for a 4.29 goals against average.
The Lions stretch of road games finally came to an end. LMU traveled to UC Irvine last week to cap a road swing that saw them play 17 of their first 19 games away from home. LMU, who has won 68 percent at the six-year old Burns Aquatics Center, continue a five-game stretch at home this weekend.
Loyola Marymount redshirt freshman Andy Stevens was named the Western Water Polo Association Newcomer of the Year while junior Mark Milovic continued the best season of his career being named first-team All-WWPA as the conference released its annual award winners on Wednesday. In his third season, Milovic set career bests in goals with 25, steals with 15, and equaled a career-best in assists with eight. Entering the WWPA tournament, he has seven multiple goals games on the year, more than his first two seasons combined. He scored a career-best four goals in the overtime setback to Long Beach State. As for Stevens, he is seventh in the nation with 241 saves while allowing just 7.9 goals per game. He has 15 games with 10 or more saves, including a career best 16 in the win over UC San Diego on Sept. 27 and 14 in the win over UC Santa Barbara in the SoCal Invitational to help the Lions finish seventh, its best finish ever. He also has 11 steals and seven assists. Also earning honors this season was freshman Tibor Forai. The team's goal leader with 40, Forai was named second-team All-WWPA and named to the All-WWPA Freshman team. The Serbia native added 21 steals and 10 assists to his resume this season. Earning honorable mention honors was Stevens and junior Julien Lormant. The third-year player is third on the team with 21 goals and second with 26 steals. He is also third on the squad with 14 assists.
The 2007 Western Water Polo Association announced the 2006 Men's Water Polo and 2007 Women's Water Polo All-Academic Teams. The team consists of members who were one of the top-10 student-athletes on the respective institutions' team, carried a 3.0 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale), classified a fulltime student who has completed a minimum of one semester or two quarters at his institution. There were eight members of the Loyola Marymount men's and women's water polo teams on this year's All-Academic squad. On the men's side, junior Shaun Flood, sophomore Tim Heafner and Julien Lormant were named to the Men's All-Academic team. All three will be the leaders of the Lions' squad heading into the 2007 season. Heafner is a Business Administration major with a 3.68 GPA while Flood and Lormant each have 3.03 GPAs. Flood is a Biology major with Lormant is the Television Production program.
Loyola Marymount's John Prunckle and Tim Heafner were named by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Association to the 2006 All-American Academic Team. The ACWPC honors student-athletes who demonstrated excellence in the classroom as well as in the pool. In his second full season of water polo at LMU, Heafner finished the 2006 season playing in every game after playing in just nine the year before as a true freshman. He became a clutch player for the Lions, scoring 11 goals as one of the first players of the bench. He added 18 steals, 11 assists and 17 kickouts drawn. Heafner is a Business Administration major with a 3.68 grade points average and earned Superior Academic All-America honors by the AWPCA. Prunckle earned Excellent honors with a 3.33 GPA as a Mechanical Engineering major. He finished his third season with the Lions, holding an 8.0 goals against average as a goalie.
- GO LIONS -