CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Water Polo team split their matches in the final day of the Convergence Tournament, defeating SCIAC opponent Redlands 12-7 before falling to No. 10 UC Santa Barbara in a close 12-9 loss. The seniors stood out during the tournament as Natalie Hill finished the day with six goals while Kyla Pickell completed six total steals on the defensive end.
Season Impact: The Sagehens are now 6-8 overall and 2-0 in the SCIAC.
Pomona-Pitzer 12, Redlands 7
The Sagehens got business done against the Redlands Bulldogs in the first game of day 2 at the Convergence as Anna Yu, Natalie Hill, and Allison Wu each had a hat trick. Hill co-led the team with Kyla Pickell and Janelle Lewis with four steals.
Hill got the scoring started in the first period, scoring off a pass by Kahea Kahaulelio. Anna Yu followed with 2:05 left in the period to make it 2-0. After the Bulldogs took one back with a 5-meter penalty, Katherine Cullen put the Sagehens back up by two with a last second goal to make it 3-1.
The second period was a tough defensive battle as the Bulldogs and Sagehens kept each other scoreless for majority of the period. The Sagehens finally broke the deadlock with 2:47 left in the half when Wu scored on a power play off a pass by Nohea Kahaulelio. 30 seconds later, the Bulldogs answered back, but with 42 seconds left, Bella Villa extended the lead to make it 5-2 at halftime.
Hill got the offense started in the second half, scoring on a power play just 17 seconds in off an assist by Nadia Paquin. Redlands responded a minute later, but Villa quickly found the net to make it 7-3 for the Sagehens. The Bulldogs closed out the third period with a 3-1 run to cut the deficit 8-6.
Hill once again got the Sagehens started in the final period, adding an insurance goal with 6:52 left in the game. Three minutes later, the Sagehens got another on board with a goal by Wu to make it 10-6. They managed to hang on, netting two more to close out for the victory.
Pomona-Pitzer 9, No. 10 UC Santa Barbara 12
The Sagehens were determined to bring the fight to the Gauchos, shoring up the defense in the backline to deny easy goals. Trailing 2-0 in the first period, the Sagehens worked to battle back as Natalie Hill score two goals within a minute span to tie game with 4:23 left in the period. With 2:49 remaining, the Sagehens took advantage of a power play opportunity as Kyla Pickell scored to give the Sagehens the lead. However, the Gauchos tied it up 3-3 to close the period.
With the score tied at 4-4 early in the second period, the Sagehens' defense prevented the Gauchos from cruising to a comfortable lead, denying easy entry passes and putting the Gauchos away from the center of the box. However, the offense couldn't capitalize on offense and the Gauchos took a 6-4 lead at halftime.
Kahea Kahaulelio brought the Sagehens within one, scoring the first goal of the second half. However, the Gauchos refused to go away as Sarah Kreiser of UCSB scored to make it 7-5. Samantha Martinez found the net with 3:11 left in the period off a power play, but the Gauchos responded with two more thanks to Sarah Snyder to lead 9-6 to close the period.
Lucie Abele tried to rally the Sagehens back in the game with a goal to start the final period, but the Gauchos were prepared to answer back. The two sides exchanged goals as the Sagehens fought hard and looked for opportunities to close the gap. Unfortunately, the Gauchos held off the Sagehens' rally for the victory.
Up Next: The Sagehens will next travel to Whitter, California to face SCIAC opponent Whittier College on Saturday, March 9 at 11:00 a.m.