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Long Beach State Opens 2013 with Triton Invitational

Chelsea Parks

Feb. 6, 2013

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KICKING THINGS OFF: The Long Beach State women's water polo team kicks off its 2013 season at the Triton Invitational in La Jolla, Calif. The tournament is a two-day 16-team tournament with 10 of the nation's top-20 teams including four of the top-10 teams in the nation.

LBSU is 31-23 overall at the Triton Invitational dating back to 1998 with its best finish coming in 2004 with a 4-0 finish. The 49ers are currently 8-8 at the tournament under head coach Gavin Arroyo.

Long Beach State takes on No. 11 Michigan to kick off the 2013 season. Ball is set to drop at 12:30 p.m. at the Canyonview Pool. Depending on the outcome of the first match, the 49ers will either play San Diego State or Santa Clara.

UM comes into Saturday's having dropped six-straight matches against top-10 opponents. The Wolverines lone win was against Colorado State. The 49ers lead the head-to-head series 8-2 with the Wolverines winning the most recent contest 6-0 back in 2011.

LOOKING BACK: The 49ers finished the season 12-17 and 1-4 in conference play. Long Beach State hoped to recreate the magic from the 2011 season but fell short at the Big West Tournament dropping its opening game against 13-8 to No. 7 LMU and then lost to No. 19 Cal State Northridge 7-5 in overtime. The 49ers however finished the season on a high-note with a 9-3 win over Pacific.

"Last year was a little bit of a disappointment," said head coach Gavin Arroyo when asked about his thoughts on last year. With a young team last season, the 49ers lost 5-of-7 matches that were decided by one goal which Arroyo hopes to change with a seasoned core group of players in Melissa Matheson, Coriann Snyder, Chelsea Parks, Justine Morgan, and Kelly Ringel.

Long Beach State returns five of its top seven scorers last year only losing Heather McKeon to graduation while Julia Garyfallou redshirts this season. Ringel, an Academic All-Big West selection, finished the season with 265 saves on the season putting her in fifth on the all-time career-saves list at LBSU.

NEW FACES: The 2013 Long Beach State women's water polo team boasts a roster that consists of 14 freshmen, four sophomores, six juniors, and three seniors.

The 49ers' recruiting class of 2012 is highlighted by Christina Kotsia and Kayla Robert. "I'm looking forward to those two making big contributions right from the beginning," says Arroyo about Kotsia and Robert.

Kotsia, a member of the Greek national team that won the first ever FINA World Youth Championships this past winter in Perth, Australia. A captain of the Greek U17 national team, Kotsia led that team to the European Championships.

Robert spent four years in the Olympic Development program while winning gold in 2011 as well as silver in 2012 at the Junior Olympics. The Fountain Valley, Calif. product was also a two-time first-team All-Sunset League selection junior and senior year.

Like the men's squad, the 2013 women's team will also have a sibling duo in Melissa and Emily Matheson. The younger Matheson comes to Long Beach State not only decorated in pool but also in the classroom as she was named Millikan High School's Valedictorian.



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