College Corner: Bowling Season For LBCC

After falling literally one yard short of the state playoffs last week, it’s SIlver Lining Saturday for the Long Beach City College football team this weekend as they host Southwestern College in the Southern California Bowl at Veterans Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m.

(The next time you’re watching the Tostitos Doritos Mojitos Fiesta Bowl and you’re complaining about corporate sponsorships run amok in sports, ask yourself if you’d rather every name be as bland as the Southern California Bowl.)

Despite last week’s loss, LBCC claimed a share of the conference championship and is trying to end the season with the school’s fifth bowl game win in six years. Also, with the heartbreaking playoff losses for Poly, Wilson and Lakewood in last week’s CIF-SS quarterfinals, this is the last football game in Long Beach until August of 2020. There’s like a 50% chance we won’t have a planet by then, so get to Vets while the getting’s good.

Long Beach State Basketball

The Long Beach State men’s and women’s basketball teams are both young, both 1-3, and both playing winnable games in the next two days. At least, we pray that they are winnable.

The men host Fresno Pacific on Friday night in the Pyramid at 7 p.m.

To be clear, that’s not an All-Star team made up of Fresno State and the University of Pacific’s best players, that’s the NCAA Division II Fresno Pacific Sunbirds. If that’s not a winnable game, we don’t know what is.

The women will host Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 4 p.m. in a battle of two teams that have the right to claim they represent Long Beach. LBSU’s claim is pretty obvious, it’s right there in the name. But Loyola Marymount has been much better at offering scholarships to local talent lately, and Saturday will be a homecoming for junior forward Jasmine Jones out of Long Beach Poly.

Long Beach State Volleyball

The women’s volleyball team has been closing strong with recent wins over UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly, but they’re still going to fall short of a .500 record for just the third time since 1984, the year we were born. The first time was in 1986, the second year of legendary coach Brian Gimmillaro’s tenure. The second time was… two years ago. The future is hopefully brighter, however, with some major talent in next year’s incoming class, including Mia Tuaniga, the younger sister of National Player of the Year Josh Tuaniga.

On the men’s side, the school just signed what looks like The Next Big Class. Their Last Big Class yielded three consecutive National Player of the Year honors and the last two NCAA titles. The 2020 season will likely be a rebuilding one for the Beach, but they signed the two top players in the freshman class this week, Clarke Godbold and Sebastian Rodriguez, as well as 6’6” middle blocker Matthew Iamaleava out of Long Beach Poly. In other words, expect to see more Final Four matches from the Black and Gold over the next few years.

LBCC Water Polo State Title

The LBCC men’s water polo team will play for a state championship this Saturday at Golden West College. The 28-3 Vikings are one of the top two teams in the state and should advance out of the morning’s Final Four game to play for the whole enchilada, likely against host Golden West.

If you’re one of those hipster sports fans who can’t go a whole sentence without using the word “underrated,” brag about knowing who Chris Oeding is. The Vikings aquatics head coach is probably the most underrated head coach in the city, having won seven state titles at LBCC and is an assistant coach on the USA Women’s National Team.

Long Beach State Water Polo

The Vikings aren’t the only water polo team that will be playing for hardware this week. The Long Beach State men’s water polo squad is headed to Malibu for the Golden Coast Conference Tournament, where they’ll open against San Jose State Friday at 1 p.m. A win would put them in the semifinals against top-seeded Pacific on Saturday.

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Mike and JJ go together like mac and cheese: they’re best friends, business partners and Long Beach sports experts. They’ve been working together for over a decade covering Long Beach local sports and now run the562.org, a community-funded nonprofit media outlet.
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