New Era Set to Begin For Women's Water Polo
First season in new conference gets started as the 2014 campaign begins Saturday and Sunday.
Jan. 17, 2014
LOS ANGELES -- The 2014 season for the LMU women's water polo program will bring a new era to the Westchester campus as the Lions join a brand new conference, and it begins this weekend as the new season gets underway.
The Lions, who were ranked 16th in the preseason coaches poll, will start the 2014 campaign at the UCLA Bruin Invitational, playing a pair of games on Saturday, Jan. 18 and then another pair on Sunday, Jan. 19.
As has been the focus for the program since it began, the schedule throughout the 2014 season, including the opening weekend will be full of challenges.
"John Loughran founded this program on the foundation that we will play anyone, any where any time," said Head Coach Kyle Witt, who begins his fifth season at the helm of the Lions. "Plying against the best gets you prepared for the conference championships. We have all the top teams again and we are excited."
The Lions open the season with CSU Bakersfield at 12:30 pm on Saturday, followed by Concordia at 6:30 pm. Then on Sunday the Lions will face eighth-ranked San Jose State at 11:15 am, followed by the host and third-ranked Bruins at 3:45 pm.
"I think our expectations are for the season is to go for that first GCC conference championship," said Witt. "We want to capture the first GCC title. We had nine WWPA titles, but those are part of our history. Everyone is even now, every one has zero. Our young team is excited for the fresh beginning."
The Lions return six starters from last year's squad that went 20-13. Three seniors will lead the Lions, including a pair of All-Americans. Erin Manke served a redshirt season in 2013 after earning all-american honors in 2011, and Alexandra Honny has scored 207 career goals while claiming All-American honors in 2012 and 2013. Joining them is senior Kassandra Smith.
Four juniors join the roster to give them seven upperclassmen on the roster. The other 13 are underclassmen, seven sophomores and six freshman.
"As much as we are young we have some great senior leaders," said Witt. "We are off to a great start in preseason training and our conference is going to get really tough. Our focus this year is that every game matters, every team matters."