First-Seeded Beach Water Polo Travels To UC Santa Barbara For Big West Tournament
LBSU will play as the first seed in the tournament for the first time.
LONG BEACH, Calif. -
No. 11 Long Beach State women's water polo will play as the first seed in the Big West Tournament against the winner of the fourth-seeded Hawai'i and fifth-seeded UC Davis match, starting on Saturday, Apr. 30 at noon.
Third-seeded UC Santa Barbara will host the tournament at the Campus Pool from Friday, Apr. 29 to Sunday, May 1st.
Teams (Overall, Big West)
- Long Beach State (17-10, 4-1
- UC Irvine (18-10, 3-2
- UC Santa Barbara (15-12, 3-2)
- Hawai'i (18-7, 3-2)
- UC Davis (17-11, 2-3)
- Cal State Northridge (11-19, 0-6)
Long Beach State won the Big West Regular Season Championship for the first time since joining the conference eight years ago (2009). This is the first regular season conference title win in program history. The Beach will also be going into the tournament as the first seed for the first time in program history.
This is head coach Gavin Arroyo's best regular season conference start and finish since joining Long Beach State in 2009. The team went 3-0 to start the conference this season, equaling the 2003 start and second to the 2005 season's 6-0 conference start. (In 2003 and 2006, LBSU was part of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation).
LBSU will go into the tournament with their highest CWPA Top 25 Poll ranking of the season at No. 11.
UC Irvine is the highest ranked Big West team this week at No. 7, and from there the other three Big West teams round out the top 10. Hawai'i is No. 8, UCSB is No. 9, and UC Davis is No. 10. CSUN moved up one spot and is now No. 24.
Long Beach State goes into the tournament allowing the second fewest goals in the conference with 187. Senior Alexis Butler had a fantastic final regular season game against UCSB last Saturday, where she had a career-high 17 saves. After allowing five goals in the first half, including three in the first three opening minutes of the game, Butler made key saves that held the Gauchos to just one goal in the second half. That showing allowed her team to get back into the match, thanks in large part to sophomore Emily Garczynski's hat trick.
Butler now has 145 saves, 139 goals allowed and a 7.22 Goals Against Average. She ranks fourth in the conference in saves. UCSB's Mackenzie Brokaw (234) is first, CSUN's Niki Van Vugt is second (173), and Haley Cameron from UC Davis (167) is third. UC Irvine's Annika Nelson rounds out the top five with 132 saves. Irvine has allowed the fewest goals in the conference all season (174).
FIRING ON THE OTHER END
LBSU's offense has also picked up in the last week after scoring 17 goals. The Beach is now second in the conference in goals scored, ending the regular season second to Hawai'i (9.96) in goals scored per game with 9.74.
Weeks earlier, the 49ers were second to last in goals scored - mainly due to the fact that LBSU hadn't played as many matches as the other teams.
Sophomore Emily Garczynski had hat tricks in each of the 49ers' last two matches, propelling the Beach to the championship in the title match to UCSB. Garczynski is now tied with freshman Annabel Harman with 29 goals in the season. Sophomore Virginia Smith continues to lead the pack with 42 goals. Tori Morrissey and Alexandra Massier are in between with 38 and 35 goals, respectively.
LBSU now has nine players with double-digit goals in the season, and almost five players (Garczynski and Harman with 29) scoring over 30 goals.
BIG WEST TOURNAMENT
More information about the Big West Tournament can be found on their Championship page.
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