Long Beach State men’s water polo finishes tournament schedule

Long Beach State men’s water polo players, from left, Thomas Freeman, Duncan Lynde and Austin Stevenson in Long Beach on Thursday, August 31, 2017. (Photo by Scott Varley, Press-Telegram/SCNG)
Long Beach State men’s water polo players, from left, Thomas Freeman, Duncan Lynde and Austin Stevenson in Long Beach on Thursday, August 31, 2017. (Photo by Scott Varley, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

The Mountain Pacific Invitational at USC this weekend is the last nonconference tournament of the season for Long Beach State men’s water polo.

The 49ers (7-3) will play four matches in two days starting with a Friday afternoon game against Princeton.

LBSU coach Gavin Arroyo said he scheduled four nonconference invites this year to give his team more experience in the tournament format. However, he’s not seeing the return he was hoping for from an already experienced squad.

“It’s been kind of like a whack-a-mole,” Arroyo said. “Two or three guys pop up and have a good game, and then kind of go away. We’re hoping for six guys to pop up at the same time for us to have a great performance.”

A strong group of returning starters is led by goalkeeper Thomas Freeman, center Duncan Lynde and junior Austin Stevenson. All three competed in the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan, in August. Lynde and Stevenson were on team USA and Freeman played for his native Australia.

“The (World University Games) water polo was a whole different level,” Stevenson said. “It was the best of the best from college. Everyone knew what they were doing. It got us more motivated for the season. Hopefully we can bring that level of play back to the season.”

Junior Austin Stewart also is back after a breakout sophomore season in which he scored 25 goals. Stewart leads the team with 20 goals this season.

“At some levels I’m expecting a little bit more from everybody right now,” Arroyo said. “We’re not playing at our best, in my opinion. We’re still trying to navigate pressure and expectations.”

LBSU hosts its first home game on Sept. 30 against Pacific.

Women’s volleyball

LBSU (4-10) won Tuesday’s Big West Conference opener at UC Riverside 23-25, 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 17-15.

Junior Megan Kruidhof had a career-high 21 kills with 11 digs for her sixth career double-double. Alexis Patterson had 44 assists, 11 digs and six kills. Hailey Harward had 19 digs as one of five LBSU players to record 10 or more digs.

The 49ers have three consecutive wins and Tuesday was their first road win this season. LBSU has won 11 straight meetings with the Highlanders (8-5, 0-1).

On Saturday night, LBSU travels to Cal State Northridge. The 49ers lead the all-time series with CSUN 53-23, and have won the last six meetings. The Matadors haven’t beaten LBSU since 2013.


Women’s soccer

LBSU (6-3-1) won two games on the East Coast last weekend.

The 49ers started the trip by beating UConn in a thrilling 3-2 double-overtime match thanks to Kaitlin Fregulia’s game-winning goal in the 107th minute. LBSU never trailed, jumping to a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute on a goal from freshman Kayla Cannon.

On Sunday, LBSU beat St. John’s 1-0 after outshooting the Red Storm 13-4. Junior Rocio Rodriguez came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 34th minute on a cross from Cannon. Sophomore Katie Pingel led the team with five shots, while Fregulia and Chloe Froment each added two.

Sophomore goalkeeper Mia Hummel made her first two starts with LBSU on the trip, and recorded her first shutout against St. John’s. The 49ers open Big West Conference play at home on Oct. 1 against Hawaii.

Men’s golf

Junior Joe Fryer eagled the first hole in the final round of the Ram Masters Invitational at Fort Collins Country Club in Colorado on Tuesday. He shot a 68 to earn an eighth-place finish, LBSU was 10th overall, finishing 33-over par. Tournament host Colorado State won the title at 17-under.

LBSU won’t compete again until Oct. 16 in Simi Valley at the Bill Cullum Invitational at Wood Ranch Country Club.

Women’s golf

Junior Haley Tygret opened the season with a sixth-place finish at the Colonel Wollenberg Ptarmigan Ram Classic. LBSU was fifth as a team at Ptarmigan Country Club in Colorado. LBSU finished 13-over par and five shots behind team champion New Mexico State.

Next week, LBSU visits the Coeur d’Alene Resort Invitational at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course in Idaho.

Men’s basketball

The Big West Conference announced Tuesday that ESPN will televise a minimum of 17 men’s basketball games this season. The games will be selected the week of the games, and only Saturday, Feb. 24 will air on ESPN2. The rest will be on ESPNU.

LBSU plays at rival Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 24.

ESPN will also carry the Advocare Invitational from Lake Buena Vista, Florida from Nov. 23-26. The LBSU game against Missouri (Nov. 23) will air on ESPN2.

Cross country

Senior George Martinez and junior Mikayla Florez will lead the 49ers into their third competition of the season, the UNLV Invitational, on Saturday. Both the men’s and women’s races will be run at Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas. The 49ers have never competed in the UNLV Invitational.

Women’s tennis

LBSU opens its season at the three-day UNLV Invitational in Las Vegas this weekend. It’s the seventh consecutive season that the 49ers have opened its schedule at the UNLV Invitational.

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About the Author

JJ Fiddler

JJ Fiddler is a sportswriter and videographer who has been covering the Long Beach-area sports world for multiple newspapers since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he adopted Long Beach as his home town and is a member of the Long Beach Century Club, where he is a two-time winner of the Keith Cordes Award for best promotion of the city through sports. Reach the author at jfiddler@scng.com or follow JJ on Twitter: @PTGazetteSports.