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Men's Water Polo Open 2012 Season at UCI Tournament

Seventh-year coach Gavin Arroyo leads a reloaded 49er team to kick off the 2012 men's water polo season at the UCI Tournament.

Aug. 28, 2012

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2012 MEN'S WATER POLO TEAM BEGINS JOURNEY AT UCI TOURNAMENT: The 2012 Long Beach State men's water polo team looks to emulate last year's hot start with its season opener at the UCI Tournament this Saturday. The 49ers open action against Redlands at 10:15 a.m. followed by a match against Chapman University at 12:30 p.m.

The 49ers opening week will also include two scrimmages on Saturday following the match against Chapman. LBSU will first take on a familiar opponent in Stanford, followed by UC San Diego at 6:15 p.m.

LAST YEAR AT THE UCI TOURNAMENT: Long Beach State started the season off last year with a hot start at the UCI tournament outscoring Fresno Pacific and Redlands 32-12 with 16 goals in each game. The fast start last year helped the 49ers go on a seven-game win streak sweeping the Redlands Tournament as well before losing to UC Irvine at the NorCal tournament in Stockton.

The Long Beach State men's water polo team series record against Redlands is currently 7-0. The 49ers look to replicate the success of their last two games against Redlands where they scored 16 goals each match. Long Beach State last played Redlands in 2011 at the UCI Tournament and back in 2008 at the UCSD Triton Invitational.

The 49ers have only played Chapman twice in school history, most recently in 2007 with Long Beach winning 17-6.

A LOOK BACK AT 2011: The 49ers return to action with all but four players from last year's team losing two starters in Aleksandar Petrovic and Matthew Kubeck. The 2012 Long Beach State men's water polo team is led by five seniors. Of the five, Travis Cleland, Barry Snyder, and Brian Schiefer have played all fours years for the 49ers.

With a year under their belts, Milos Vrzic (31 goals), Devin Mefford (25 goals), and Joey Fabian (13 goals) will look to help improve last year's record. The 49ers also return a core group of juniors in Robert Robinson, Dan Matulis (35 goals), and Will Mathison.

With the loss of both Kubeck and John Mroch, transfer Balint Meszaros will be expected to step up and lead the 49er in the goal along with Sinan Kartay and Derek Anderson. Meszaros comes to LBSU having played just a year at West Valley College. In his short stint at West Valley, Meszaros racked up 162 blocks in 25 games, including a 20-save performance against Long Beach City College in the CCCAA Men's State semi-final game.

49ERS GET HELP FROM NEW FACES: Nolan McConnell, Dimitrios Lappas, Michail Drakapoulos, and transfer Spencer White lead the class of new recruits for the 2012 LBSU men's water polo team.

McConnell, whose brother Nathan also plays for the 49ers is coming off a CIF Division III championship season at Laguna Beach High School earning All-America honors as well as back-to-back CIF Division III Player of the Year awards.

Dimitrios Lappas joins LBSU as a five-time Junior League of Greece champion for the Panionios Water Polo Club Team. Michail Drakapoulos, who also hails from Greece, comes to Long Beach State with a national championship in 2009 playing for the Greek national team.

Spencer White, an MBA student, is also a recent addition to LBSU having played at Cal from 2008-09, earning MPSF All-Academic honors as well as best newcomer of the year by the Daily Californian. Eric Chasse, Patrick Goodenough, Tony Morelli, and Nolyn Wild round out the recruiting class for the 2012 49ers.



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