Pomona-Pitzer men’s water polo, ranked 16th nationally and first in D-III, hosted the annual Claremont Convergence Tournament this weekend. The Sagehens went 3-1 in the tournament, their only loss coming against 12th-ranked Santa Clara. The highlight of the tournament was the Sagehens’ narrow and exciting victory over Harvard, a.k.a “Pomona of the East.”
In the most well-attended game of the weekend the Hens defeated the Crimson 10-9 on Friday. Cody Moore PO ’13 led the Hens with three goals, and he scored the first goal of the match in the first quarter. Jarrod Gaut PI ’14 and Ben Hadley PO ’11 both had two goals and Ryan Higgins PO ’14, Ryan Balikian PO ’11, and Mark Hudnall PO ’13 each scored one. Goalie Kyle Pokorny PO ’12 blocked nine and had one steal.
Earlier that day, the Hens defeated Air Force 9-7 for the second time this year, thanks in part to a very strong defensive performance. Pokorny added another 10 saves, while Hadley and Balikian led the pool with three goals and three steals apiece. Jaron Moler PO ’12 also had three steals and one goal. Hudnall scored twice, and Moore had two steals.
Late Saturday morning the Hens suffered their only loss of the tournament to Santa Clara 4-7. In this highly competitive and incredibly intense match both Moore and Hadley were majored (received three ejection fouls) in the fourth quarter. Balikian added another two goals to his total, and Hadley and Gaut each scored once. Pokorny had another nine blocks and one assist on a counter-attack.
In their final game of the tournament Saturday evening, the Hens topped the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays 9-8. Eight Sagehens scored in the game, while Hudnall was the only player to score more than once. Jason Cox PI ’13, Dylan O’Connell PO ’14, Wade Bible PI ’14, Gaut, Higgins, Moler, and Balikian all contributed to the goal total. Pokorny had another 10 blocks and one steal. Gaut clocked three steals, followed by Balikian and Hudnall with two steals each.
Whenever a Hen scores a goal, the new scoreboard at Haldeman now posts the picture of the scorer for all the fans to see. If one of the two goalies, Pokorny or Tyler Hill PI ’14, makes a great block he will see hispicture on the board as well. This certainly helps those fans who have difficulty recognizing players with their caps on cheer the proper Sagehens.
Most of their games from now until SCIAC Championships in November will be played against other SCIAC teams. One potential threat to the Hens’ top-ranked D-III position and SCIAC title is the University of Redlands, ranked second in D-III. he Hens play their next home game Saturday, Oct. 16, against CMS. This game also marks the beginning of SCIAC Conference play for P-P.
Haldeman will be packed with fans from all five colleges in the ultimate 5C water polo showdown.