Men's Sports, Men's Water Polo, Sports

No. 7 LBSU is off to No. 9 Pepperdine, No. 2 UCLA this weekend

Coming off a valiant effort in an overtime loss against the No. 1 USC Trojans last week, the Long Beach State men’s water polo team will look to continue the strong play this weekend.

The 49ers (9-7) will make the trip to Pepperdine to play the Waves at 4 p.m. on Friday at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool, followed by another road matchup against the No. 2 UCLA Bruins at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Spieker Aquatics Center.

Friday’s game will be LBSU’s second Golden Coast Conference game of the season, and first conference game on the road against the Waves (13-8). Last season, Pepperdine finished in fourth place in the conference, but ended up winning the inaugural conference tournament.

The 49ers have played Pepperdine every year since 1976, and have won the last five meetings against the Waves, who are coming off two losses last week against the No. 8 UCSB Gauchos and No. 2 UCLA.

The Waves are led by junior attacker Marko Asic, who has 47 goals and boasts a .825 shot percentage on the season.

“It’s going to be a challenging weekend for sure,” said head coach Gavin Arroyo. “Pepperdine is a good team…so we’re hoping to do our best.”

The game Saturday against the Bruins will pose another big test for the 49ers. Similar to the USC game last week, LBSU needs to post another strong defensive effort in order to put up a good fight.

The Bruins offense is headed by freshman attacker Nicolas Saveljic and senior attacker Max Irving with 28 and 25 goals each this season.

“I thought our defense [last week] was really good, and if we bring that into this weekend then we should win 2 out of 2,” junior defender Keegan Wicken said.

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