Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Water Polo

LBSU women’s water polo set for three-game week

The 49ers are on a hot streak right now, winning their last four and looking to maintain their momentum.

The Long Beach State women’s water polo team has three games this week, starting 7 p.m. Thursday at home against Bucknell. The 49ers then head up to Northridge to play at noon Saturday and return home for another noon match Sunday to play Wagner.

No. 15 Long Beach is on a four-game win streak after sweeping the Aztec Invitational at San Diego State University this past weekend.

“I think against UC San Diego, we finally played to our potential. It’s really comforting to see from my standpoint at least,” head coach Gavin Arroyo said.

Long Beach held No. 17 UC San Diego to one goal, a season-low for the Tritons and the fewest the 49ers have given up this season. Arroyo said the win against the Tritons is the biggest win of the season so far.

Eirini [Patras] played unbelievable,” Arroyo said of his goalie. “I think we were super engaged, super alert.”

Coming into this week, freshman attacker Orsi Hertzka leads Long Beach in goals with 47 and has the highest shooting percentage on the team with .904. She also leads Long Beach in points with 49.

Bucknell comes into this week with an overall record of 14-6. The Bison have lost four of their last five games.

The Bison are led by sophomore attacker Ally Furano, who leads the team in goals. Senior attacker Emily Konishi and sophomore utility Kali Hyham are second and third in goals scored for the Bison.

“I think the point of playing is we take advantage of all the big tournaments and big teams and now it’s slowly starting to narrow the focus toward playing at home and playing conference. It’s kind of the second phase,” Arroyo said.

The last time Long Beach and Bucknell faced off against each other was last season in a non-conference game, where the 49ers beat the Bison 8-5.

The Matadors come into Saturday’s game 13-12 overall. The Matadors have won seven out of their last eight games and are currently on a three-game winning streak.

The 49ers have played the Matadors twice this season, winning both meetings. Long Beach won 12-5 on Feb. 23 in the Barbara Kalbous Invitational and 10-4 on Feb. 10 in the Triton Invitational.

“[Northridge is] well-coached. We’re not taking anything for granted for sure,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo said beating the Matadors on the road will be difficult due to their pool being different than other team’s pools.

“[The pool is] 25 yards, kind of shallow on one end and it always provides a bit of a distraction to the opposing team going in there,” Arroyo said.

Wagner enters the week 14-5 overall and is currently on seven-game winning streak. The Seahawks are led by freshman attacker Sofia Diaz Alvarez, who leads the team in goals with 53. Senior attack Erica Hardy, who is second the team in goals with 47, leads the team in points (goals and assists combined) with 81.

“We just got to try find some level of consistency. Wagner’s got a great team,” Arroyo said. “Every game we’re not going to be able to cruise by anything, we’re going to have to come and compete.”  

Long Beach lost to the Seahawks 8-7 in the 2016 season Jan. 24 in the UCSB Winter Invitational. This will mark the first meeting between the two teams this year.


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