Sagehens Come Up Just Short To Santa Clara In WWPA Quarters

Sagehens Come Up Just Short To Santa Clara In WWPA Quarters

San Diego, Calif. - The sixth-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team was locked in a tight battle with third-seeded Santa Clara (No. 14 nationally) deep into the fourth quarter before falling 10-6 on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Western Water Polo Association.

With the loss, the Sagehens fall to 14-19 and will play in tomorrow's consolation semifinals at 6 p.m. against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in a rematch of Sunday's SCIAC Championship, which Pomona-Pitzer captured 7-4. Santa Clara moves on to the semifinals against the CMS-UC San Diego winner.

Freshman Stephen Vint (El Cajon, Calif. - pictured) led the way for Pomona-Pitzer with three goals, while junior Jason Cox (Arnold, Md.) added two.

Against the same Santa Clara team it lost to 14-5 back on Oct. 2, the Sagehens shook off a slow start as it fell behind 3-0 just two minutes into the game (with two goals coming from James Case). The defense then settled in, and Pomona-Pitzer was able to pull back within 3-2 in the second quarter, before the Broncos scored with one second left in the half to take a 4-2 lead into the break.

The momentum didn't carry over, though, as the Sagehens evened the score up at 4-4 on two goals from Vint at the start of the third quarter just 52 seconds apart. After Santa Clara took the lead back 5-4, Cox answered with a tying goal with 1:41 left in the third to make the score 5-5. Santa Clara, though, converted in a man-up situation with 22 seconds left in the third to take the lead for good.

The Broncos then scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter to open up an 8-5 lead and give themselves some cushion.  Pomona-Pitzer was able to cut the lead to 8-6 with 2:18 remaining on an extra-man goal from senior Jaron Moler (Carmichael, Calif.), but the Broncos answered back as Daley Meistrell scored his team-high third of the game on the next possession with 1:49 on the clock to stem any late comeback hopes.

The loss ended a four-match winning streak for Pomona-Pitzer, all in the postseason, as it captured the SCIAC championship last weekend, and earned a 13-12 win over La Verne in the opening match of the WWPA Tournament yesterday.