While most 5C students were mourning the end of spring break, the Pomona-Pitzer women's water polo team (5-11, 1-0 SCIAC) was embarking on a journey to Arizona State University for a two-day tournament from Mar. 18-19.
On the first day of the tournament, the Sagehens met California Baptist University (18-7, 2-0 conf.), an old foe, in the pool. The Sagehens first met the Lancers earlier in the season in February, where P-P took a hard loss with a score of 13-4. However, pumped and ready, the team came into the match determined to redeem themselves.
The Lancers immediately took possession of the ball, maneuvering around the swimming Sagehens to earn two open shots. But the Sagehens were not deterred by an early Lancer lead and forced themselves into a slight 3-2 lead with a goal from Kyla Pickell PZ ’19.
Unfortunately, Cal Baptist found a way to force past the Sagehen defense to score again, and although P-P battled back, the game ended with a score of 13-8.
Despite the loss, the Sagehens recognized their improvement from their last match against CBU: “It was nice to see how far the team has come,” Megan Snow PO ’16 said. “From this point, the team needs to focus on pressing and outside shooting, but both of these aspects of our game have already seen improvement.”
In the CBU match, Anna Yu PO ’19 and Ahsha Earwood PZ ’17 performed notably well: Yu earned a hat trick, while the spectacular goaltending style of Earwood offered the Hens seven saves and one steal.
“[We’ve] been working on establishing a new team with all of the freshmen, which has taken a lot of adjusting,” Natalie Hill PO ’19 said. “But we've been playing a lot better as a team.”
On day two, the Sagehens played some of the best water polo programs in the nation, including the University of the Pacific Powercats (8-14, 0-0 conf.) and the University of Michigan Wolverines (19-6, 0-0 conf.). They were able to exercise some of the skills they’ve been practicing: “[We’ve been] working to establish a solid and smart defense, as well as capitalizing on early offensive opportunities,” Hill said.
Though the Hens suffered losses in both games, Snow pointed out, “We held our own against some pretty good Division I programs; Michigan is ranked [No.] 5 and Pacific is [No.] 13.”
The Powercats capitalized on an early lead, and even though Christina Williamson PO ’17 and Anna Yu PO ’19 were able to get the Sagehens on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, the Cats managed to maintain that lead until the final buzzer, earning a 13-2 game over the Hens.
After facing some of the best DI teams in the league in Arizona, the Sagehens will be looking for a comeback in the upcoming game against the Chapman University Panthers (14-15, 6-5) on Mar. 26.