Millertime: Seven Sagehen SCIAC Successes

It has been an up-and-down year for Pomona-Pitzer athletics. Teams have gone on incredible runs, defied odds and had unbelievable wins. In spite of that, no team has had a run comparable to the 2009 baseball team, and very few teams have even won SCIAC. But consistently, all year long, P-P has been at the top of the standings in every sport, competing with conference rivals and keeping fans at the edge of their seats. 

While each team steadily improves and prepares for a new year of competition, there have been a smattering of incredible individual performances this year that have drawn attention from on and off of campus. Already this year, SCIAC has recognized seven Sagehens for their on-field performances, naming them SCIAC athletes of the week. 

Vicky Gyorffy PO ‘15

In her first year on the women’s water polo team, Gyorffy has been an outstanding addition. After having netted only five goals in her first 26 games, she exploded in a pivotal match against then-first-ranked Occidental. Deadlocked at 10-10 with under two minutes to go, Gyorffy scored a go-ahead goal. After Oxy tied the game to send it into overtime, Gyorffy scored two more goals en route to a 15-13 win. Now the top dogs, P-P women’s water polo looks to defend their rank nationally. 

James Campbell PO ‘12

As the powerhouse for the P-P baseball team this year, first baseman James Campbell has batted .396 with 9 home runs and 43 RBI. He was honored as SCIAC athlete of the week after coming off an injury and returning to the lineup for a three-game sweep of CMS in which he went 6 of 12 with a home run and ten RBIs. His production from the plate has helped the Sagehens stay competitive in the race for the SCIAC championship. 

Leah Bleichner PO ‘15

Also in her first season in an orange and blue uniform, Bleichner has been an important piece of the women’s softball team, one of the most improved teams on campus. After several disappointing seasons, the Sagehens have strung together a couple impressive winning streaks in which many games have been come-from-behind or walk-off victories. The same week that Campbell was tearing up the diamond, Bleichner was compiling her own impressive stats, hitting safely 11 times in 16 at bats with five runs and five RBI. In one game against Occidental, Bleichner went 6-for-6, including a three-run home run.  

Max Scholten PO ‘12

Scholten came very close to a shot at representing the United States in London’s 2012 Olympics, not a usual feat for many P-P athletes. In his All-American career swimming for the Sagehens, Scholten has notched six school records. The first time he was named SCIAC athlete of the week, Scholten had just set the final two school records of his six, all while earning a trip to NCAA nationals. The second time, he had just closed out his career at Haldemann pool with impressive wins in two individual events and two relays. 

Annie Lydens PO ‘13

In the past year, Lydens has won SCIAC athlete of the week not once, not twice, but three times. In Oct., she shattered her previous cross country record time, replacing it with a mark of 21:03.9. That was faster than the time that won her NCAA regionals and helped her place ninth at nationals. Less than a month later, Lydens won the SCIAC championship by over 25 seconds. Not finished, she returned to the national championships later in Nov. where she came in third overall, the highest finish ever by a P-P runner. Furthermore, she broke her previous personal record once again. Coming off surgery this winter, Lydens has the chance to win even more SCIAC honors in the track and field season. 

Jake Klewer PO ‘14

On a team full of young talent that rose above expectations, Klewer got it all going before winter break. Returning from his first year season in which he led the team in scoring, Klewer netted 23 points and nine rebounds against defending national champions St. Thomas. At one point in the second half, he scored eight straight points to tie the game at 49-49. Although the Sagehens lost in double overtime, the impressive showing got the Sagehens rolling on what turned out to be one of the best seasons in recent history. 

Martha Marich PO ‘12

Also a two-time SCIAC honoree this year, Marich has been nothing short of dominant in her final year on the P-P women’s lacrosse team. In Feb., Marich had her first breakout game of the year, leading the Sagehens past Whittier 26-18 with 11 goals on 15 shots. Her three late goals helped secure the win. When the Sagehens traveled north to face Puget Sound and Pacific, Marich helped the team to a 4-0 week that evened their overall record. Furthermore, that week, Marich scored her 300th career goal, an impressive mark considering she missed almost all of her junior year with a torn ACL. 

While these have not been the only impressive individual performances this year, they certainly have stood out for P-P athletics. Another impressive performance, though he would never admit it, has come from sports information director Jeremy Kniffin. By helping the Sagehen athletes get the recognition they deserve, P-P has moved from having no SCIAC athletes of the week last year to 11 this year from seven different individuals. 

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