Over the weekend, LMU participated in a one-day challenge cup between a pair of teams from the Western Water Polo Association and the Golden Coast Conference. In the first matchup of the day, the No. 16 men of LMU collided with rivals No. 8-ranked Pepperdine.
The game, taking place on Sep. 16 between the two familiar squads, proved to be an exciting affair. The Waves and the Lions began by quickly exchanging goals back and forth. Less than a minute into the match, Mate Toth gave Pepperdine their first goal of the match. LMU responded quickly, however, tying the game up a little over a minute later through junior Daniel Roth.
The two teams continued to exchange goals, leaving Pepperdine with a 4-3 lead at the end of the first quarter of play. A little less than halfway through the second, the Lions again tied the score with their rivals. This time it was sophomore Blazo Mitrovic with his second of the game, evening the game up at 4 apiece.
After this quarter and a half of tight competition, the Waves began to pull well clear of the home team on the scoreboard. The game went into halftime with a relatively close score of 8-5 in favor of Pepperdine. The visitors then completely took control of the match, scoring 4 goals straight over the Lions and garnering an impressive 12-5 lead.
LMU would score twice in the third quarter, both again through Mitrovic. The Lions were faced with a tall task of a comeback going into the fourth down seven goals. They did manage an improved fourth quarter, including two goals for Roth and another for Mitrovic. However, the hole they dug themselves into the previous quarter proved too deep to come out of. The game finished 15-11 in favor of Pepperdine.
Later that same day, the Lions dropped another match in a close 12-11 loss to No. 9-ranked UC Irvine. The program will have a chance to bounce back when it begins WWPA conference play against Fresno Pacific University this Saturday, September Sept. 21 on the road.