Hens Water Polo Claims Third in SCIAC Championships

After earning a spot at the SCIAC Championships, the Pomona-Pitzer women's water polo team (14-16, 9-2 SCIAC) headed to University of Redlands, who hosted this year's tournament, from Apr. 22-24

“This season we had more newcomers than returners,” Christina Williamson PO '17 said. “Leading up to the season, [that] was definitely both exciting and a little scary!”

Despite their young team, the Hens showed their dominance in the conference by defeating the California Lutheran University (13-19, 5-7 SCIAC) in the first round of the SCIAC Championship. It was a tightly contested match between two evenly matched defenses, but P-P first shook the nets to take a 1-0 lead and by the end of two quarters held a lead of 2-1.

Erica Halaszynski PO '18 said, “As a team, throughout the season, we typically start slower and then gain momentum throughout the game, which was apparent in the Cal Lu game. Overall, I thought we performed well and it was great to come out strong at the beginning of the tournament.” The Sagehens definitely overcame their nerves as they exploded in the third quarter to tally up four goals in that quarter alone.In the end, that offensive outburst, combined with their disciplined defense, overpowered the Regals as they fell to the Sagehens 7-3.

The Sagehens definitely gained momentum as they exploded in the third quarter to tally up four goals in that quarter alone. In the end the offensive outburst of the Sagehens in the third quarter combined with their disciplined defense was too much for the Regals to handle as they fell to the Sagehens in the first round of SCIACs.

P-P carried the momentum from round one to their second game as they faced off against University of  La Verne (18-6, 8-3 SCIAC). Much like their regular season match-up against the Leopards, which went into overtime, the Sagehens and Leopards fought tooth and nail in this one.

Williamson PO '17 who tallied a hat trick said, “The La Verne game was definitely a battle! In a game like that, it is easy to get caught up in how close the score is and start rushing things. Our team did a pretty good job of taking things possession by possession and thinking about the moment and play at hand.”

In the fourth quarter the Leopards showed their grit as a team and after exchanging goals to make the score even at 9-9 the Leopards scored their go-ahead goal with less than two minutes left in the game. The Sagehens came close to tying the game hitting the goal post twice in the last two minutes of the game, but the tying goal eluded their grasp.

Halaszynski PO '18 said, “We had a possession at the end to put away the ball and tie up the game, and typically we are able to. We just weren't able to do it this time, for whatever reason. It always sucks when you realize your team won't get the recognition for all the hard work we've put in throughout the season, but like I said, I was proud of the way the team handled the adversary and dealt with the loss, and we are ready to come back even stronger next year.”

However the Sagehens were not done with this season just yet. They were still in contention for third place with Chapman University (10-20, 5-6 SCIAC). The Sagehens came out red-hot scoring two goals in the first and second quarter and three in the third. In the end the offensive onslaught of the Sagehens was too much for the Panthers and the Sagehens secured a third place SCIAC Championship finish on Saturday afternoon.

Reflecting on the season Williamson PO '17 said, “We had a lot of fun this season and did well in conference and the SCIAC tournament, all testaments to the leadership of the coaches and returners and hard work and courage of the newcomers!”

Looking ahead to next season, Halaszynski PO'18 said, “I'm really excited to see us in the next few years as we continue to develop our team play and keep coming together even better than we have this year … I know this team has the talent for it and we're all ready to put in the work necessary, so it'll be an exciting season for sure!”

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