Women's Water Polo Ready To Open 2014 At UCSB Winter Invite
Jan. 22, 2014
No. 11 Long Beach State vs. No. 4 Cal
No. 11 Long Beach State vs. No. 20 Pacific
No. 11 Long Beach State vs. Bakersfield
No. 11 Long Beach State vs. Claremont-M-S
STARTING IN THE RANKINGS: After a 2013 season that exceeded expectations, Long Beach State will start the 2014 season in the CWPA's top-20. The Beach finished 2013 at No. 8 and will begin 2014 at No. 11. It is the highest preseason national ranking for The Beach since 2006 when it started the season at No. 7. Last year, LBSU began the season unranked but quickly climbed into the top-10 on its way to a stellar 25-7 record and a third place finish in the Big West Tournament.
MIND THE NET: Kelly Ringel returns in goal for her third year as a starter and will look for her third consecutive season with 200+ saves. Last year, Ringel stopped 274 shots for a career-best year. She averaged nearly 10 per game. Her 5.74 goals against average also helped earn her postseason recognition with All-Big West Honorable Mention. She comes into the 2014 season ranking third on the 49ers all-time saves list with 565. Her 274 saves last year was the second highest total in school history.
POUND THE NET: While Ringel protects the net on one side of the pool, LBSU returns its top-3 scorers from last year. Seniors Chelsea Parks and Coriann Snyder were two top scorers from 2013 with 60 and 39 goals, respectively. Parks' 60 goals marked the seventh highest single season in 49er history and moved her to ninth on the all-time scoring list with 120 career goals. Snyder also eclipsed 100 goals last year, becoming the 14th 49er to do so.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: A handful of freshmen made immediate impacts to last year's team, including a 50 goal season from Christina Kotsia. With 17 newcomers, freshmen should again have an immediate impact again as the 2014 season progresses. Kayla Robert and Leigh Auth also played in all 32 games last year as a freshmen and could see increased roles as underclassmen.
STRONG START: Last year's record-breaking run began with a 3-1 record against ranked opponents for The Beach. That was just weekend number one of the season. The 49ers will have another chance to make some early season noise with a matchup with No. 4 Cal in their very first game. Later that day, they will play No. 20 Pacific. Their 3-1 start from a year ago prompted an amazing 17-2 run over their first 19 games that saw the team rise all the way into the top-10 of the CWPA poll. A win against No. 4 Cal would potentially provide the same lift.
COMING HOME EARLY: The Beach will make an early season appearance at LBSU's Campus Pool next week on Sunday, Feb. 2. No. 10 San Diego State will roll into town for a noon matchup of former conference rivals. Last year, 49er fans had to just five chances to check out the team and LBSU posted a 3-2 record in home games. It wasn't until Mar. 12 that The Beach played at home. This year, The Beach will welcome in their fans for even home games and are home twice in February, three times in March and twice more in April.
POSTSEASON AT THE BEACH: The Big West Tournament will take its turn in Long Beach this year with Long Beach State hosting the conference-wide tournament. The tournament to decide the Big West's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament runs Apr. 25-27 in the Campus Pool.