Men's Water Polo Edged By Concordia At Inland Empire Classic

La Verne, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team finished off the Inland Empire Classic with a narrow 12-10 loss to Concordia (Calif.) on Sunday.

Earlier in the tournament, the Sagehens suffered a 12-7 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday evening and a 10-3 loss to UC Davis on Sunday morning. 

In the opening match of the tournament, Pomona-Pitzer battled sixth-ranked UC Santa Barbara to a 12-7 final, one week after falling 16-4 to the same Gauchos team. Mark Hudnall (Los Altos, Calif.) and Ryan Higgins (Orinda, Calif.) each had two goals to lead the way for the Sagehens, while Jason Cox (Arnold, Md.), Jaron Moler (Carmichael, Calif.) and Clayton Hardman (Old Greenwich, Conn.) each added one.

The two teams both put 17 shots on net, but Gauchos goalkeepers Myles Christian and Jay Lovero each had five saves. Kyle Pokorny (Coronado, Calif.) had five for the Sagehens.  

In the UC Davis match, Pomona-Pitzer fell behind 6-0 at the half, but regrouped and put a solid run to together to start the second half. Cody Moore (San Dimas, Calif.) found the back of the net at the 6:55 mark of the third quarter, and Cox and Kyle Van der Linde (Altadena, Calif.) scored goals in the fourth period to get the Sagehens all the way back within 6-3.

However, Aaron Salt, who had a match-high four goals, stopped the bleeding for UC Davis with a goal to start a 4-0 run over the final five minutes to help his team pull away for a 10-3 win. Tony Dito finished with 13 saves for UC Davis, including five in the third period alone, in a solid performance in net to prevent the Sagehens from getting any closer than three goals.

Cox capped off the weekend with a strong performance against Concordia, scoring four goals, a season high for any Sagehen so far this year. Hudnall added two goals, including one early in the third quarter that brought Pomona-Pitzer within 7-6. Concordia, though, answered with the next three goals to stretch its lead back up to 10-6.

A late Sagehen rally came up short as Cox found the net twice in the fourth quarter, and a Hudnall goal with 1:32 left to play made it 12-10, but Pomona-Pitzer turned the ball over in the final minute and could not come any closer. Rex Learmouth had a match-high five goals for Concordia.

Pomona-Pitzer returns to action at home next Saturday, when it entertains Cal Baptist at 1 p.m. and Navy at 7:30 p.m.