The LMU Lions hope to close out their last Western Water Polo Association tournament with a championship at Burns Aquatic Center. The 2022 tournament will mark the final games that Loyola Marymount University will be participating in the WWPA. In fall 2023, the Lions will be competing in the West Coast Conference.
The nine-team WWPA tournament on Nov. 18-20, 2022, brings squads from the Air Force Academy, Biola University, California Baptist University, Concordia University, Santa Clara University, UC Davis, and UC San Diego to the LMU campus. Tickets can be purchased here.
The tournament looks to be highly competitive: the Lions come into the tournament ranked No. 13 in the nation by the Collegiate Water Polo Association, with UC Davis ranked No. 5, UC San Diego at No. 12, Cal Baptist at No. 16, and Santa Clara ranked No. 17.
LMU joined the WWPA in 1987 and won the championship eight times: 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. The LMU water polo team became the university’s first men’s program to win four straight conference championships thanks to a 9-6 win over UC Davis to claim the 2010 WWPA title.
“We are very excited to have the WCC add men’s water polo,” said John Loughran, who is in his 26th year as head coach. “This is something we have hoped for and worked towards for many years. It is great news for the LMU water polo, the WCC, and the water polo community.” The expanded conference will also add Pacific, Pepperdine, and San Jose State from the Golden Coast Conference, joining LMU, Air Force, Cal Baptist, and Santa Clara from the WWPA. All seven teams were ranked in the top 25 nationally last season.
WCC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez said that expansion of water polo to the conference will “ensure the stability of the sport in the Western region.” James Graham, coach of Pacific University, said, “This has the potential of not only being the strongest conference in the country, but hopefully the other WCC schools without men’s water polo will consider adding men’s and women’s water polo programs now.”
The first game of the tournament begins at 9 a.m. PST; LMU’s first game is at 10:30 against Concordia. The doors open for fans at 8 a.m.