THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – As the school year approaches, the Cal Lutheran men’s water polo team has announced their 2013 schedule that features another preseason packed with Division I, II, III and NAIA opponents before competing for their first league title in school history.
Year in and year out the Kingsmen face some of the toughest teams in the country before Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play gets under way and 2013 is no different.
“We open every season with many of the highest level teams in the nation, especially Division I teams,” head coach Craig Rond explained. “We are always able to use those games as teaching and learning experiences since we want to reach our peak entering the SCIAC schedule late in the fall.”
CLU will travel quite a bit this year and the Kingsmen waste no time jumping into action. Opening weekend will take place at the UC San Diego Invitational for four games over two days though opponents are yet to be determined.
The weekend of Sept. 13-15, Cal Lutheran makes a cross-country trip to Brown in Providence, RI where the Violet and Gold will open with a Division III match-up against Connecticut College. CLU follows with a trio of Division I teams in Brown, St. Francis (NY) and Navy before capping the weekend off against Division III powerhouse MIT. Two games will take place on both Friday and Saturday with the final contest of the journey on Sunday at 8:00 a.m. (PST).
When the Kingsmen return to the west coast, they will hit the road again to play a pair of games at the Cal Baptist Invitational on Friday, Sept. 20.
Cal Lutheran will host their season opener inside the friendly confines of the Samuelson Aquatics Center for a double-header on Thursday, Sept. 26. They face Concordia (Irvine) at 2:00 p.m. and Cerritos CC at 5:00 p.m. after CUI and CCC face off for a neutral site game at 11:00 a.m. to start the day.
A quick turnaround puts the Kingsmen back in the pool on Friday, Sept. 27 when they welcome Division I UC Santa Barbara to Cal Lutheran for a clash at noon.
One final tune-up before SCIAC play is set for Oct. 4-5 at the Gary Troyer Invitational hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. While the head-to-head schedule for the event is not available at the date of release it is sure to feature stiff competition as that is annually one of the largest men’s water polo tournaments in the nation at any level.
League play is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Oct. 9 when Occidental travels to Thousand Oaks for a 4:00 p.m. first sprint. CLU has a week off before heading to Pomona-Pitzer on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
The final non-conference game of the season is the second of a split double-header on Saturday, Oct. 19. In the morning, Cal Lutheran travels to Chapman prior to making a pit-stop in Los Angeles to face Division I USC in the afternoon. Game times are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., respectively.
Continuing SCIAC play, the Kingsmen will host back-to-back home games on Wednesday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 26. Wednesday will pit CLU against Whittier with the Saturday showdown scheduled against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Road games will take the Violet and Gold to Caltech on Wednesday, Oct. 30 and Redlands on Saturday, Nov. 2. The final home contest of the season at the SAC is against La Verne on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The senior class will be recognized prior to the ball dropping.
For the first time since joining the league, Chapman will host the SCIAC Championships Nov. 15-17. Times and opponents will be released following the completion of the first round of play by all teams.
Cal Lutheran is chasing the first SCIAC title in the 10-year history of the program, which dates back to 2003.