The Pomona-Pitzer men’s water polo team was one of three hosts for the Claremont Convergence tournament this past weekend. The tournament brought 32 water polo teams from around the country to strut their stuff, and the Sagehens got to do plenty of that themselves. Pomona-Pitzer entered the tournament ranked first in NCAA Division III, despite being 1-12 for the season. They had managed to attain their number-one status because all 13 of the teams they had played before the tournament were ranked in the top 20 nationally. Over the course of this weekend, the Hens played four games against tough teams.
Pomona-Pitzer’s first game of the tournament marked their first conference game of the season and turned out to be a thrilling overtime showdown. The Hens took on the Chapman Panthers, a fellow member of SCIAC, and proved that they are tough competition in their league. The game marked the first time that the Sagehens played a nationally unranked team, and, though it was tough, they notched a win. The Hens got up 4-3 to end the first half, but the Panthers fought back and took the lead at 9-7 to end the third. The score was tied at 11-11 when Steven Vint PZ ’15 scored back-to-back goals to give P-P the lead. The match appeared to be over when the Panthers pounced, scoring two goals in a span of 12 seconds to tie the game and send it into overtime. The teams traded goals, but then the Sagehens went on an insurmountable three-point surge to finish the game with a score of 17-14.
The Hens next faced off against Johns Hopkins, a Division III powerhouse, in what turned out to be their only loss of the weekend. Despite a strong showing by Jason Cox PZ ’13, who punched in three goals, the Sagehens fell 10-7 to the Blue Jays. Cox ended Friday with seven goals in two games, an impressive feat.
P-P next took on the Vanguard Lions, whose pride was shattered after a last-minute save by Austin Strong PZ ’15 allowed the Hens to hold onto an 8-7 lead and gain their third win of the season.
In their final game of the tourney, the Sagehens beat the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds 12-10.
The Pomona-Pitzer Men finished out the Claremont Convergence tournament with a 3-1 record and improved to 4-13 for the season. The Sagehens take on Occidental tomorrow and face off against CMS next Wednesday, Oct. 19. Make sure you are at the CMS pool to show your Sagehen pride.