It’s a battle in the water–a battle against gravity, a battle against the opponent, and ultimately, a battle against yourself.
Thirteen heads bobbed up and down in the clear blue water, fixated on the same yellow ball that transferred from one hand to another, as if drawn by a magnet. As each pass was completed, the crowd held its breath until finally, out of the blue, the trigger was pulled. On its trajectory to the back of the net, a domineering hand smothered the salient yellow ball. Some of the spectators let out a sigh of relief, while others released a groan of disappointment. It was a battle in water polo.
The Pomona-Pitzer women's water polo team (0-4, 0-0 SCIAC) took on Azusa Pacific University (2-6 PacWest) and California Baptist University (5-3, 0-0 GCC) on Saturday, Feb. 6th. It was truly a match to behold as the Sagehens valiantly fought off the Cougars and Lancers.
The first match-up against Azusa Pacific was close: Although the Cougars jumped to a quick 6-3 lead, the Sagehens held the game within striking distance and ended the half down 9-4. The third quarter was a stalemate with both teams scoring two goals apiece. In the fourth, the Hens mounted a comeback with Jocelyn Castro PZ ’18 posting up two goals to chip away at the diminishing Cougars’ lead. However, time got the best of the Sagehens as the final whistle blew, signaling the end of the match at 12-8.
Reflecting on the game, Megan Snow PO '16 said, “I think that we have seen vast improvements since our first few weeks together. We played well against Azusa Pacific, but failed to convert on our six-on-five goals. In a few weeks, I am sure we could beat Azusa Pacific.”
The second game ended 13-4 in favor of the Lancers, a team who has spent a lot of time in the pool together. “CBU [California Baptist University] has a great team,” Snow said. “They have been practicing together for months and we have been in the pool for a couple of weeks.”
With ten incoming freshmen and one transfer student, the P-P women's team is very young this season. With such a newly formed team, the Sagehens definitely played well against such strong opponents on Saturday.
“We did a lot better than we did the previous weekend against the other teams,” said Anna Yu PO ’19. “I think it was a matter of getting team dynamic down. We worked really well and we’re getting better everyday.”
With each practice, the Sagehens are becoming a more cohesive and formidable team. As a senior member of this team, Snow commended the freshmen: “All of the freshmen are very athletic and have a fantastic work ethic.”
As one of the freshmen on the team, Yu said, “I just love the team aspect of it [water polo]. I think we’re definitely getting there when you know what everyone does, what style of play everyone has.”
Although the start of the season has been slow, the Sagehens are not discouraged at all but look forward to the rest of the season. “It should be a good season,” said Yu. “I’m really looking forward to it.” Snow expressed the same sentiment: “I am excited to see the girls improve over the season!”, she explained.
The Sagehens next hit the waters at the Tina Finali Invitational in Thousand Oaks on Saturday, Feb. 27th, where they will play against Villanova University (1-1, 0-0 MAAC) and California State University, East Bay (2-2, 0-0 WWPA).