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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The No. 6-ranked University of Michigan water polo team opened up the 2019 Barbara Kalbus Invitational with an 11-9 victory over No. 12 Loyola Marymount University.

Nine different Michigan players scored a goal as the Wolverines started the tournament on a strong note. The Wolverines were led by two of its seniors, Julia Sellers and Kim Johnson, who scored two goals apiece.

U-M led for the majority of the game after Johnson scored the first goal of the game. LMU scored the first two goals of the second period to take a 4-3 lead, but that would be the Lions’ only advantage of the contest as the Wolverines answered with three unanswered goals. Sellers, freshman Erin Neustrom and sophomore Maddy Johnston all scored during the run.

Michigan led by as many as three goals on several occasions. Both teams scored three goals in the third quarter, but junior Maddy Steere gave Michigan another three-goal cushion with a 6-on-5 goal early in the fourth period. Loyola Marymount cut into the lead with a 6-on-5 goal of its own, but the Wolverines were able to keep them off the board the rest of the way.

Johnston and freshman Abby Andrews each tallied three assists to go with one goal. Andrews also added three steals and one field block. Freshman Kayla Barone made her collegiate debut for the Wolverines and scored a goal. Junior goalkeeper Heidi Ritner made six saves and one steal to help the defense keep the Lions to single digits.

The Wolverines advanced into the winner’s bracket and will play No. 3 University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) on Saturday, February 23, at 11:45 a.m. PST at the University of California-Irvine Aquatic Center. UCLA defeated No. 17 Long Beach State University, 16-6, to start the tournament. Michigan and UCLA met back on Jan. 20 at the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) Winter Invitational, with the Bruins edging out U-M, 9-7.

Release courtesy University of Michigan Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association