Jan. 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA (Jan. 21) - They have been the hottest team on the Loyola Marymount University campus, winning four straight conference championships and playing for the national championship last seasons. They are the women's water polo team, and they are set to begin defense of their four consecutive Western Water Polo Association championships as the 2005 schedule was released.
The Lions, who finished the 2004 season ranked second in the nation after wrapping up a record-breaking season with a 25-6 mark while setting the school record for wins in a season, nine teams ranked in the final national poll in head-to-head competition while looking to take on another 18 in tournaments.
LMU will start their season on Feb. 5-6 at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational in La Jolla, CA. The Lions have started in the UCSD tournament the last three seasons, posting records of 3-1 in 2002 and 2003 while going 2-2 last season. The Lions have faced a minimum of three ranked teams in each of the last three seasons, with the possibility of doing the same this year.
After the trip down south, the Lions will head back to Los Angeles for their home opener in a triple-header on Saturday, Feb. 12. The action will start at 10:00 a.m. when the Lions take on Hartwick, who finished last season ranked 10th in the nation. Hartwick will then play Redlands at 12:30 p.m. with LMU and Redlands capping the day at 3:00 p.m.
The Lions will continue their homestand with California on Friday, Feb. 18 and then Michigan on Thursday, Feb. 24. Both games are scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. at the Burns Recreation and Aquatics Center. Cal finished last season ranked sixth in the nation and Michigan finished 12th.
LMU will then head to the Gaucho Invitational hosted by UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 25-27. The Lions have made the trip to the Gaucho Invite a tradition, playing in the tournament every year since the sport began at LMU in 1998.
On March 5 the Lions will host another triple-header, taking on Chapman at 9:30 a.m. to start the day. UC San Diego, who finished ranked 17th last season, will play Chapman at 12:00 p.m. and then LMU and UC San Diego will play at 2:30 p.m.
The Lions will travel to fourth-ranked UCLA on March 17 and then to the Michigan Tournament on March 19-20. Ann Arbor will also be the site of the 2005 NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship on May 13-15. The tournament field was expanded this season from the standard four to eight, giving the tournament three rounds of play.
Following the trip to Michigan, the Lions will host defending champion USC on March 30 and then the LMU Invitational on April 1-2. In the tournament will be UC San Diego, Redlands, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State Bakersfield, UC Santa Cruz, Sonoma State and Cal State Northridge.
The Lions will play in their final regular season tournament on April 9-10 at the UC Davis Invitational. Like the trip to Michigan, the trip to the Davis Invite will allow the Lions to play in the site of the 2005 WWPA Championships, which will be held April 29-May 1 in Davis, CA.
LMU will play their final home game on Wednesday, April 13 at 3:00 p.m. against Cal State Northridge before closing the season at UC Irvine in April 20 and at UC Santa Barbara on April 23. CSUN finished last season ranked 15th while UCSB finished eighth and UCI finished 18th.
For tickets or more information, call the ticket office at (310) 338-LION.
- GO LIONS -