Women's Water Polo

Lions Finally Home in 2011

Mary Ann Campos

Mary Ann Campos

March 11, 2011

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Fourteen games into the 2011 season, the 6th-ranked LMU women's water polo team will finally play at home. The Lions will play their home-opener on Saturday, March 12 when they host a tripleheader with UC Santa Barbara and Occidental. The action begins when the Lions take on No. 13 UCSB at 10:30 a.m. The Gauchos will then face Occidental at 12 noon. The action ends with the Lions taking on the Tigers at 3:30 p.m.

While the Lions started the season with the first 14 games away from home, the Burns Aquatics Center will be a busy place through the end of March. The Lions will host 21 games, including the 16-game LMU Invitational, at the Burns Center through the end of March. For the Lions, it will be a eight-game homestand, their longest of the season.

The Lions have started the 2011 season at 10-4 overall and 3-0 against teams from the Western Water Polo Association. Of the 14 games, 12 have come against the nation's top-20. The Lions will play their 13th of the season against the Gauchos and enter the game with a record of 8-4 against the top-20. All four of the setbacks have come against the top-4 in the nation. A trio of Lions come into the games Saturday with 20 or more goals, led by Mary Ann Campos with 28. Erin Manke has 24 goals while Kimberly Benedetti has 20. Manke also leads the Lions with 20 assists and 16 steals. Kristine Cato has already accumulated 148 saves, including a career-best 20 against Michigan on Feb. 13.

The early season numbers have several Lions climbing the career record book at LMU. Campos now has 162 goals in her career, climbing to fifth all-time at LMU. Benedetti has 115 in her career to rank 11th, while senior Diana Romero has added 15 goals this season, giving her 108. She is ranked 13th. In just one-plus season, Manke is already eighth all-time with 57 assists. Junior Casey Flacks is within shot of the all-time record, moving to a tie for third with 76 career assists. She is second on the team this season with 11.



The Lions will host UC Santa Barbara and Occidental in a tripleheader. It will be the 13th meeting between LMU and UCSB, while it will be just the fourth meeting for LMU against Occidental. Combined, the Lions are 12-3 combined against the two, going 9-3 against UCSB and 3-0 against Occidental. This will be the third straight year the Lions face UCSB, winning 9-6 on March 7 a year ago in Santa Barbara. They met on April 17, 2009 in the last meeting at the Burns Center, with LMU winning 14-6. The Lions have won the last five meetings, last falling in triple overtime in Santa Barbara on April 23, 2005. Against Occidental, this will be the fourth meeting, but the first since 1999. This will also be the first at the Burns Center as the Lions won the last two on a neutral court. The first came in 1998 at Occidental.

The Lions have started the 2011 season 3-0 against the WWPA, running their winning streak against the WWPA to 27. For the 10th straight season, the Loyola Marymount women's water polo team earned at least 20 wins in a season thanks to the 28-6 mark in 2010. The streak started with a 23-7 mark in 2001, and since they have win totals of 21 (2002), 24 (2003), 25 (2004), 30 (2005), 25 (2006), 27 (2007), 20 (2008) and 26 (2009). LMU has won seven of the last nine WWPA titles and is 34-4 all-time in the WWPA tournament.



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