Busy Week Starts with TV Game at USC
Lions take on USC Thursday, then complete conference play on Saturday with doubleheader at Azusa Pacific.
April 8, 2014
LOS ANGELES -LMU women's water polo will play a three-game week, including its first-ever regular season appearance on television, playing third-ranked USC on Thursday, Apr. 10 at 4:30 pm. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Network.
The Lions are 17-10 on the season and 4-1 in the Golden Coast Conference, coming off a 6-5 heartbreaker to San Diego State on the road last Saturday. The Lions will play their final game in GCC play on Saturday when they travel to Azusa Pacific for a 12 noon start. They will also play Chapman at 2:30 in Azusa.
THE GCC: GCC Standings | GCC Stat Rankings
LMU made the move to the Golden Coast Conference this 2014 season, marking the inaugural season for the seven-team league. The Lions, who won eight championships in the Western Water Polo Association, join San Diego State, Santa Clara, California Baptist, Pacific, Azusa Pacific and Fresno Pacific in the new league. The GCC will wait the mandatory two-year waiting period before applying for an automatic bid to the NCAA championships. The teams are still eligible for an at-large selection to the 2014 tournament.
INSIDE THE LIONS
The Lions are led by seniors Kiara Cerda, Alexandra Honny, Erin Manke and Kassandra Smith. All four have been key in the Lions' success over the years, combining to play 390 games heading into the weekend.
Ranked 11th nationally, the Lions are led by Honny, who has 63 goals to lead the GCC this season. She enters the weekend with 270 goals in her career, second all-time in LMU history. She also leads the team with 63 steals, second within the GCC. She has also added 26 assists. Her 109 assists is third in school history while her 252 steals is second. She will play in her 128th game against USC on Thursday, an LMU record.
Joining her in the career rankings is fifth-year senior Manke, who served a redshirt season in 2013. She leads the team this season with 43 assists, giving her an LMU record 179. She is also tied for eighth with 140 goals and 11th with 128 steals. For Manke, this will be her 113th game as a Lion.
While the Lions are paced by their four seniors, the Lions feature a young roster. Junior Mackenzie Beck has turned into a leader, and his fourth on the team with 36 goals, fourth in assists with 20, second in steals with 39 and second with 36 drawn exclusions. She too is climbing up the record book with 109 career goals (tied for 16th), 63 assists (10th), and 84 steals (20th).
Fellow junior Laura Lopez is right there with Beck, tying her with 36 goals this season, adding 24 assist and 19 steals. Sophomore Ivana Castro is second on the team in goals with 39 while adding 20 assists and 29 steals.
Sophomore Claire Wright anchors the Lions defense in goal, ranking third in the GCC with 9.95 saves per game and third with goals against average of 8.23. She has 219 saves on the season, third in the GCC, and now has 415 in her two-year career, already fifth in LMU history.
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