Tough Week Against Top Competition for Hens

The
Pomona-Pitzer women’s water polo team knew that California Baptist University’s second Lancer Mini Invitational would be a challenge from the beginning of the season. With two
top-ten ranked teams in the nation and a battle against one of the best teams in SCIAC,
the Hens were ready for three difficult matches. 

After falling 4-30 to No. 3
University of Southern California (10-0) Feb. 14, the Sagehens could not quite recover their energy and suffered a second loss against
Whittier College 6-8. The team then had to wake up the next day and play a rare Sunday
match. Despite battling No. 9 California State University, Northridge (9-5), the Hens could not keep up and
dropped their third and final match of the weekend 10-15.

The
Hens started off the tournament facing USC in hopes of gaining
valuable experience against a top team, with little expectation of winning.
Early in the game, as USC piled up six goals in the first quarter, it was clear
that the Trojans were not looking to go easy on the Sagehens. By the end of the
game, USC had tallied 30 goals, a number rarely seen in water polo, while the
Hens were able to put up just four. 

Despite the thumping, P-P still came away from
the game with some highlights. Center Mahalia Prater-Fahey PO ’15 scored a hat trick
in the game, an impressive statistic against one of the top teams in the
nation, while defender Megan Snow PO ’16 was also able to tally a goal.

P-P’s
next game was against Whittier, a SCIAC rival. The Hens fell behind
early, allowing four goals in the first half and only putting up two themselves. P-P looked to spark their cold offense in the third quarter and were able to tie
the game up 5-5 at the end of the quarter. However, Whittier fought back with some nifty goals in the fourth to take
the game 8-6.

Sallie
Walecka PO ’15 noted that the team felt tired throughout the weekend. 

“The games did not go particularly
well as we were all pretty exhausted from a long week, and we played like it as
well,” Walecka said. “It is still the beginning of the season,
so we aren’t worried, but we definitely need to work hard.”

On Sunday,
the Hens played their final game of the weekend against No. 9 California State University, Northridge. The
Hens let the first quarter slip away, allowing five goals while only scoring one,
but they kept the game close for the next two quarters. In the final quarter, CSUN
held off a surge from P-P to win the game 15-10. Utility player Alyssa Woodward PZ ’15 had her
second hat-trick of the weekend, while attacker Morgan McCracken PO ’18 added three
goals as well.

“We
were disappointed with the outcomes this weekend, especially with the tough
time we had stopping counterattacks,” attacker Chrissie Alving-Trinh PO ’15 said.
“However, Mahalia and Alyssa both had some great performances, which kept
the team confident.”

With two
weeks off until their next game, the Hens will be conditioning hard in the
pool, looking to get into better shape and outswim their opponents.

“Conditioning
and physicality are two things we will focus on in these next two weeks so that
we can play physically and be more confident for our future games,”
Walecka said.

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