Nov. 18, 2010
The LMU men's water polo team enters the 2010 Western Water Polo Association Men's Championship as the No. 1 seed, winners of eight of their last nine, including three straight against programs ranked among the top 13 in the nation. LMU will face one of the deepest conference tournament fields in recent history in order to win their fourth straight conference crown and eighth in the last 10 years. LMU will open play on Friday, Nov. 19 against the winner of No. 8 Redlands/No. 9 Whittier game at 3:20 p.m.
Lions' Multimedia Game Center
INSIDE THE LIONS
Get complete in-depth information on the Lions' sixth week of the 2010 season:
All-Access WWPA Preview Interactive Weekly Release Interactive Yearbook WWPA Championship Central Weekly Release in PDF
The eighth-ranked Lions have won eight of their last nine, six of which came against WWPA foes, helping themm secure the No. 1 seed in the WWPA Championships at Santa Clara University Nov. 19-21. The Lions have improved to 16-8 overall, and 13-1 against the WWPA. The Lions season is once again grounded by their defense. Led by WWPA Player of the Year Ikaika Aki
and first-team All-WWPA goalie Andy Stevens
, the Lions have allowed just six goals per game in 2010, among the nation's leaders. Aki provides big help in front of the net for Stevens, adding 25 field blocks, 56 steals and spear-heading the offense with a team-best 35 assists. If it does get by the defenders in front, Stevens is the all-time leader in saves with 1,146 in his career, knocking down 240 this season. As for offense, the Lions are led by first-team All-WWPA selection Edgaras Asajavicius
with 48 goals. The junior has scored 19 goals in the last eight games for the Lions. Senior Tibor Forai
is second with 38 goals on the season.
The Western Water Polo Association has announced the seeding for the upcoming 2010 WWPA Men's Championships to be held at Sullivan Aquatics Center at Santa Clara University Friday, Nov. 19 - Sunday, Nov. 21. LMU has earned the top seed thanks to a 16-8 overall record and a 13-1 mark against WWPA foes. With a near identical record, UC Davis, at 16-9 overall and 13-1 in the WWPA, has been seeded second. LMU defeated UC Davis, 6-1, in the teams' only meeting at Davis, Calif., on Nov. 5. Both will earn a bye to the quarterfinals. Rounding out the top half of the seeding is No. 3 UC San Diego (12-11, 8-4), No. 4 Santa Clara (17-14, 7-7) and No. 5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (17-12, 9-7). Earning the No. 6 seed is Pomona-Pitzer (16-16, 9-8), followed by Air Force (10-17, 5-10) at No. 7, Redlands (18-14, 9-6) at No. 8, Whittier (13-18, 7-10) at No. 9 and Chapman (11-13, 3-9) at No. 10. In what was one of the most balanced and competitive seasons in recent memory within the WWPA, with seven of the 12 teams at .500 or better, will make for thrilling match-ups in Day One. It begins on Friday when Air Force takes on Champan at 9 a.m. The winner will then take on No. 2 UC Davis in Game No. 5 at 2:20 p.m. Game Two will feature Redlands facing off against Whittier at 10:20 a.m. The winner of Game No. 2 will face LMU at 3:40 p.m., in Game No. 6. Game No. 3 will feature with 4-5 game, as Santa Clara faces Claremont at 11:40 a.m. Game No. 4 will feature UC San Diego facing No. 6 Pomona-Pitzer at 1 p.m.
AGAINST THE WWPA
The Lions have opened the season at 6-0 against teams from the WWPA, running their unbeaten streak to 37 games against the conference. They went 14-0 in 2009, 11-0 in 2008 and won their last six in 2007 to win back-to-back-to-back titles. The last setback was to Santa Clara on Oct. 26, 2007, 8-7 in overtime. The streak ended at 37 with a 7-6 setback to UC San Diego in the final game of the SoCal Invitational on Oct. 3, 2010. They have since rattled off seven straight, giving them 45 wins in the last 46 WWPA games. The Lions have won seven WWPA titles in nine seasons.
2009 - 3-0 - Won WWPA title
2008 - 3-0 - Won WWPA title
2007 - 3-0 - Won WWPA title
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 semifinals 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: 37-23 overall
For the sixth time since 2001, an LMU men's water polo player has been named the Western Water Polo Association Player of the Year. For 2010, the winner of that honor is senior Ikaika Aki, who was also named first-team All-WWPA, the second consecutive season he has earned first-team honors. Joining him on that team is junior Edgaras Asajavicius, earning first-team honors for the first time after taking home second-team honors a year ago, and senior goalie Andy Stevens, his third straight first-team award. Senior Daniel Smith was named honorable mention All-WWPA. Head Coach John Loughran was named Co-Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with Steve Doten of UC Davis. Its his ninth coach of the year honor, the fifth on the men's side.
Aki did a little of everything for the Lions, scoring 20 goals, with team highs in assists (35), steals (56) and field blocks (25). His 35 assists is tied for the fifth most in a single season at LMU. He needs one more goal to be the first Lions to ever crack the century mark for career goals, assists, steals and field blocks. He has 100 goals (ranked 18th), 99 assists (2nd), 170 steals (1st) and 111 field blocks (1st). As for Stevens, who was the WWPA Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009, he has allowed just 6.48 goals this season and his 19 saves against Long Beach State in the regular season finale was his best of the year, earning him WWPA Player of the Week honors for Nov. 17. In three seasons, Asajavicius has already scored 143 goals in his career, thanks to his team-high 48 this season. He is ranked 10th all-time at LMU. Smith is making his first appearance on the All-WWPA teams, scoring 16 goals with a team-high 56 kickouts this season.
HALL OF FAME
The Loyola Marymount University athletic department announced that four individuals and two teams will be inducted as the Class of 2011 into the LMU Athletics' Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held on Saturday, January 29, 2011 in Burns Back Court.
This year's class includes three-time All-AmericanKevin Witt, who played men's water polo from 1999-2002 and helped the Lions start its tradition of championships with its first in 2001. Witt is third all-time in LMU history with 210 goals and third with 145 career steals. The 2011 class also includes Kate Murray (women's basketball, 2004), Edit Pakay (women's tennis/cross country, 2003), Arturo Torres (men's soccer, 2002), the 1950 Loyola football team, and the 1989 women's rowing four that won a national championship. The four individuals bring the number of members in the Hall of Fame, which was started in 1986, to 108. The two teams will be the fifth and sixth inducted into the Hall of Fame, as they join the 1969 football team, the 1981 women's crew team, the 1990 men's basketball team, and the 1986 baseball team. More information about each individual inductee, as well as information on how to purchase tickets to the event, will be posted online at www.LMULions.com as the event nears.
- GO LIONS -