On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Pomona-Pitzer men’s water polo team (6-6, SCIAC 0-0) swept their fellow Inland Empire competition in the Lancer Invitational at California Baptist University. The Sagehens, going 2-0 in the invitational, defeated the Citrus College Owls (11-10, WSC 0-1) 19-10 and the Concordia University Eagles 16-7.
Both Adam Ward PO ’19 and Timmy Hardman PZ ’17 scored three points each against the Owls as the Sagehens went on to have their highest scoring game all season. By halftime, the Sagehens led the Owls 11-3.
The second half was a much closer game. The Owls managed to score as much in the third period as they did in the whole first half. However, the Sagehens shut down any chance at a comeback from the Owls, never once letting them take the lead.
Six different Sagehens earned a point in the second half—a testament to the team’s deep levels of talent.
After swooping over the Owls, the Sagehens had very little time for celebration. Soon after, the second half of their double-header began against the Concordia Eagles.
The Eagles kept the match close throughout the first half, but the Sagehens led at halftime by 8-5.
The second half, however, was all Sagehens. The Pomona-Pitzer defense only conceded two points in the third period, while goalkeeper Daniel Diemer PZ ’18 shut out the Eagles completely in the fourth. The Sagehens put up eight more points in the second half, finishing the game with a score of 16-7.
Just because both games were victories, though, doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement.
“I was not [particularly] happy with our Concordia game,” head coach Alexander Rodriguez said. “We didn’t execute well and we didn’t play with the energy required from our team. Our defense energy … improved in the fourth quarter, but we need that energy the first three-quarters.”
However, Rodriguez knows a good coach always looks ahead to the future.
“This year’s team is in a better position [than last year’s team] due to the talent we have,” he said. “We have a very good freshman class and the returns have all improved from last year as well.”
Coach Rodriguez is eager to continue developing the team through the season, remarking that his team needs to play “with confidence at all time” and that “everyone on the team needs to believe they can play.”
The Sagehens pulled up to a .500 record for the first time all season following their 2-0 win streak. The week ahead will be a test for the nationally-ranked Sagehens. They will play host to the Gary Troyer Tournament throughout the weekend, where University of California, San Diego, the United States Air Force Academy, and other powerhouse teams will come to Claremont to take on the high-flying Sagehens.