The Pomona-Pitzer men’s water polo team represented Division III in the acclaimed NorCal Tournament, hosted by UC Berkeley the weekend of Sept. 18. The Sagehens went 1-3 in the tournament, defeating Air Force 10-8 in their final game. They go into their first home games this weekend with a record of 3-7, with league play yet to begin.
The Sagehens began training near the end of August, waking up for practice at 6:30 a.m. some mornings and training in the pool every afternoon, occasionally hitting the weight room as well. With autumn came freshmen, who have, by now, been integrated into the team. Multiple members of the Class of 2014 helped out with goals and blocks during the tournament last weekend.
The Sagehens’ first opponents in the tournament were the Cal Bears, who they faced bright and early Saturday morning. In a well-fought battle against one of the best Division I teams in the nation, the Hens lost 17-8. Ben Hadley PO ’11 and Ryan Higgins PO ‘14 both scored two goals against the Bears. Mark Hudnall PO ‘13, Jarrod Gaut PI ‘14, Dylan O’Connell PO ‘14, and Cody “Young Money” Moore PO ‘13 each scored as well. In the cage for the Hens, Kyle Pokorny PO ’12 blocked four in the first half, and Tyler Hill PO ’14 blocked five in the second.
The Sagehens suffered their second loss of the day at the hands of Loyola Marymount, another strong D-I team, with an end tally of 13-6. Ryan Balikian PO ’11 came through for the Sagehens with a studly total of four goals against the Lions. Moore and Hudnall both added to their tallies with a goal apiece. Pokorny also blocked a tournament-high 11 shots over the course of the game, while Hill added another swat to his count.
In yet another brutal 8 a.m. match, the Sagehens fell a third and final time to Navy by a score of 14-8. O’Connell, Gaut, Balikian, Hudnall, Jason Cox PI ’13, and Robert Chew PO ’14 each scored a goal, while Moore scored two.
The Sagehens ended the tournament with an epic victory over Air Force. Hadley scored three goals, Higgins added two, and Moore, Balikian, and Hudnall added one each. Hill blocked a manly seven shots during his time in the cage.
This coming Saturday not only marks the first homestand of the 2010 water polo season, but from a stylistic perspective, also gives the Sagehens a chance to display their bright, spankin’ new scoreboard.
So, if you decide to come watch one or both of the games today, don’t forget to take a glance at the new scoreboard as you cheer on your fellow Sagehens.
P-P will face St. Francis at 4:30 p.m. and Vanguard at 7:00 p.m. at Pomona’s Haldeman Pool.