Lions Open WWPA Tourney with Sagehens
Second-seeded Lions to face familiar foes on their half of bracket of 2012 WWPA Championships in Whittier.
Nov. 15, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- LMU men's water polo will open the 2012 Western Water Polo Association Championships on Friday, Nov. 16 when they face the seventh-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens at 12:30 p.m. The tournament will run through Sunday, Nov. 18 and will take place at Whittier College's Slade Aquatic Center.
LMU enters the tournament at 15-9 overall and 10-2 in the WWPA, with the only two setbacks coming to top-seed UC San Diego. The Tritons are 14-7 overall and 12-2 in the WWPA, with their only two loses coming to the Lions.
The Lions had three on the All-WWPA first-team, including WWPA Newcomer of the Year and leading scorer Milutin Mitrovic. His goal total on the season is 12th all-time in LMU history but is ranked third since 2000 when there were no longer two-point goals.
The Lions have a balanced attack behind Mitrovic, including fellow first-team selection John Mikuzis with 35 goals. Seth Coldren is third on the team with 31 goals, while Collin Walters and Mark Menis follow with 26 and 25, respectively.
Walters, a honorable mention All-WWPA selection, and Menis have been stat-stuffers for the Lions this season. Walters leads the team in assists with 27 and is third in steals with 23. Menis is third in assists with 20 and second in steals with 24.
Leading the Lions defense has been goalie Kyle Testman, making 245 saves in 24 games, adding a team-best 27 steals.
The Lions defeated the Sagehens 13-7 on Sept. 22. Pomona-Pitzer is 14-15 on the season, but has one 14 of their last 19 after starting the season 0-10 against all top-10 teams. They finished 8-6 in the WWPA and are led by second-team All-WWPA selection Jason Cox and WWPA All-Freshman Phillip Cayman.
Also in the Lions' half of the bracket is Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and 13th-ranked Air Force. LMU defeated Claremont 14-6 on Oct. 5 and two weeks ago held on to defeat the Falcons 9-8 on a late goal by Jake Villarreal.
Senior first-team All-WWPA selection Josh Stedman leads the Falcons, who are 16-10 on the season and 9-4 in the WWPA. Claremont won the SCIAC Championship over Pomona-Pitzer last Sunday and are 13-16 overall and 8-6 in the WWPA.
Follow the championships at WWPA Championship Central.