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LBSU men’s water polo looks to make a statement at the Inland Empire Classic

The team has had early season success, posting a 3-1 record so far.

LBSU+men%27s+water+polo+players+prepare+for+the+weekend+in+a+practice+Wednesday+afternoon.
LBSU men's water polo players prepare for the weekend in a practice Wednesday afternoon.

LBSU men's water polo players prepare for the weekend in a practice Wednesday afternoon.

Alex Manfredi

Alex Manfredi

LBSU men's water polo players prepare for the weekend in a practice Wednesday afternoon.

Alex Manfredi, Staff Writer

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Last weekend, the Long Beach State men’s water polo team started off their season 3-1, taking down quality opponents in UC Santa Barbara, Air Force and UC Davis at the 2017 Triton Invitational.

“Last weekend went really well, we got to play one of our conference rivals in UCSB and took them down with one of our goalies (Marwan Darwish) playing in his first NCAA game,” senior Duncan Lynde said. “He did a great job and it was a good fight, we all came out and played well. I think we’re ready to go, we’re all just grinding right now and conditioning is heavy but we’re looking forward to the future.”

The lone loss for the 49ers last weekend was to Cal Berkeley, the 2016 NCAA National Champions. The final score came out to 14-7, but head coach Gavin Arroyo was pleased with his team’s effort and outcome.

“Cal is obviously a good team, that was a pretty tough game,” Arroyo said. “We hung in there for about three quarters and then they pulled away so it was a little bit closer than the score, I would say. I think the experience is helping us get better.”

The 49ers have come out of the gates strong and are looking to improve on their record this weekend after being predicted to finish in second place in the Golden Coast Conference this year behind Pacific. They will head to the Inland Empire Classic on Saturday to take on Redlands and Pomona-Pitzer. Both opponents compete at the NCAA Division III level and LBSU will look to capitalize on that.

“Anytime the whistle blows, anything can happen so we’re training pretty hard this week,” Arroyo said. “Pomona especially, we’ve always kind of struggled with them and they have a great coach in Alex Rodriguez.”

Long Beach State will have to prepare for this weekend like no other, even if the competition is not as high as last weekend with seven out of 11 teams ranked in the Top 25 last year.

“We’d be a fool to take anyone lightly, so we have to be prepared to do what we have to do. We’re just trying to focus on ourselves,” Arroyo said.

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