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Water Polo Honors Seniors at the Inaugural Black & Goal Benefit

Head Coach Gavin Arroyo
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May 6, 2013

LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Long Beach State men's and women's water polo teams held its Inaugural Black & Goal Benefit this past Saturday at a private home in Bixby Knolls neighboring the home from the hit movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The event was the first of its kind as both men's and women's programs had their banquets combined along with supporters from around the community.

The men's came off their second-best finish in program history at 24-8 while taking fifth at the MPSF Tournament and ended their season fifth in the nation as well. The women's program had just as much success this year and wrapped up their best season in school history at 25-7 while earning third-place at the Big West Tournament.

Travis Cleland, Brian Schiefer, Barry Snyder, Spencer White, Julie Lantz, Claire Martin, and Melissa Matheson were recognized during the awards ceremony as they concluded their careers at The Beach.

The 2012 Darin Blizzard Award, named after LBSU water polo alum and current volunteer assistant coach Darin Blizzard, was awarded to Snyder for his exemplary leadership and model citizenship. On the women's side, Martin received a similar awards named after former water polo alum, Liz Garcia.

The plaques were engraved with the Navy SEAL quote, "Team, Teammate, Self." Both seniors exemplified the Navy SEAL mantra by putting their Team first, followed by their Teammate, and finally when Team and Teammate are taken care of, they would then be concerned with themselves.

Five players were awarded All-America honors for LBSU after the success of both programs. Dan Matulis grabbed the lone Second-Team All-America award while Balint Meszaros, Nick Rascon and White earned All-America Honorable Mention. Coriann Snyder represented the women's side notching her first All-America Honorable Mention honors.

The ceremony took a quick detour along the way to celebrate the birthdays of three players as the water polo program surprised Patrick Goodenough, Emily Matheson, and Milos Vrzic with a birthday cake.

Head Coach Gavin Arroyo was also recognized at the event receiving his second MPSF Coach of the Year accolade. In his seventh season with the men's and fifth season with the women's at Long Beach State, Arroyo became the first coach in LBSU history to lead both programs to 20-plus wins in the same season.

The water polo program began presenting their graduating seniors with black and gold rugby long-sleeves to honor their hard work and dedication this season. With that said, the season culminated with Arroyo being presented with a rugby long-sleeve of his own becoming an honorary 49er.



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