Three-Game Week For No. 6 Lions
Women's water polo take a one-game break from play at home Thursday at UC Irvine before hosting tripleheader on Saturday.
March 31, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After playing eight straight at home, the sixth-ranked LMU women's water polo team will take a one-game road trip to UC Irvine in a game under the lights tonight (Thursday) at Anteater Aquatics Complex with start time set at 7 p.m. The Lions will then return home Saturday to host a tripleheader in conference play.
The Lions enter the week at 17-5 overall and 5-0 in the Western Water Polo Association after going 7-1 on their recent eight-game homestand.
Of the 21 games, 15 have come against the nation's top-20. That number will move to 16 when the Lions take on the 13th-ranked Anteaters, who enter the week at 12-7 overall. This will be the 17th meeting between the two programs with the Lions holding a 15-1 edge. They met twice a year ago, including the last meeting on March 27, 2010, as the Lions earned an 11-10 win in sudden-death overtime. Three of the last nine meeting have gone into sudden-death overtime.
LMU ran their streak against the WWPA to 29 with an 18-4 win over CS Bakersfield on Wednesday and they will face two more on Saturday in a tripleheader with Cal State San Bernardino and Santa Clara.
The Lions will open with the Coyotes (8-20, 1-4 in WWPA) at 9 a.m. Santa Clara and CSUSB will then play at 12 noon. The three-game stint will end with the Lions taking on the Broncos (9-12, 6-3) at 3 p.m.
Junior Kimberly Benedetti came up big for the Lions in their two games last week. She had four goals in the win over CSUB and then two more against No. 3 USC. She is now second on the team with 34 goals and leads the team with 60 kickouts-drawn.
Senior Mary Ann Campos leads the team with 39 goals and now has 173 goals in her career, ranked fifth all-time in LMU history. Sophomore Erin Manke, who is third on the team with 33 goals, had five assists in the win over CSUB to mover her team-leading total to 29 on the year.
The early season numbers have several Lions climbing the career record book at LMU. In addition to Campos, Benedetti has 129 in her career to rank 7th, while senior Diana Romero has added 25 goals this season, giving her 118. She is ranked 10th. In just one-plus season, Manke is already 6th all-time with 67 assists. Junior Casey Flacks is within shot of the all-time record, moving into second with 82 career assists. She is second on the team this season with 17.
In goal, Elise Ponce has risen to the top nationally, ranking as the best in the nation with a a goals against average of 4.43 (for goalies playing more than 200 minutes).