After a 1-3 weekend in La Jolla — with each loss to a team ranked higher nationally — Loyola Marymount University’s men’s water polo team will host its first set of home games Sept. 14 with the WWPA/GCC Challenge.

At the Triton Invitational hosted by UC San Diego, the 14th-ranked Lions split two matches Sept. 7, then lost twice Sept. 8, earning second place in Group A and eighth in the 14-team tournament. The results:

California 14, LMU 9: Joseph Shaw scored three goals for LMU in the loss to No. 4 Cal, as LMU fell behind by seven but rallied to within four before Cal pulled away. (The Bears’ roster includes sophomore Miles O’Brien-Schridde and junior Cade Kruse of Loyola High, and freshmen Warren Loth and Ian Minsterman of Mater Dei.)

LMU 12, Whittier 10: Eight goals by sophomore Blazo Mitrovic (five in the third quarter) paced the Lions’ first win of the season. Junior goalie Zach Zemliak made eight saves to protect the victory. (Whittier’s roster includes junior Eliott Bergerson from St. John Bosco.)

Pepperdine 19, LMU 14: The No. 7 Waves jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the second quarter before the Lions rallied to within 12-9. But each LMU goal was answered by a Pepperdine goal, leading to the final result. For the Lions, junior Alexandros Athymaritis scored three goals, while Pepperdine sophomore Max Sprute of Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks scored five goals for the Waves, and senior Sean Thomas of Loyola scored twice. (The Waves’ roster also includes junior Blake Brutocao of Damien and freshman Kaden Kaneko of Mater Dei.)

UC Davis 14, LMU 13: The No. 10 Aggies scored twice late in the game to edge the Lions in a back-and-forth match that neither team led by more than a goal. Juniors David Carrasco, Daniel Roth and Athymaritis each scored three goals for LMU. (UC Davis’ roster includes freshman Aaron Wilson from Damien.) 

This week, LMU’s Burns Aquatics Center hosts the WWPA/GCC Challenge Cup, in which Pepperdine, Cal Baptist (with freshmen Angel Sanchez from Santa Margarita and Joseph Griffin from Damien) and UC Irvine join the Lions for a round-robin, day-long event. LMU will play the first and last matches of the day, scheduled for 10 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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