Claremont, Calif. - The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo team fell 9-5 to No. 10 UC San Diego and 24-6 to No. 1 USC on Saturday afternoon at Haldeman Pool as part of the Inland Empire Tournament.
With the losses, the Sagehens fall to 0-4 on the season, all against top 10 teams. USC also defeated UC San Diego 17-5, extending its winning streak to 37 matches.
The individual story of the day for Pomona-Pitzer came against USC, as freshman James Baker, in only his fourth collegiate match, scored four goals against the top-ranked team in the nation in a losing cause (pictured is his first goal of the match).
As a team, the story was the strong battle that the Sagehens gave to No. 10 UC San Diego in their first game of the day. After falling behind 5-1 late in the first quarter, Pomona-Pitzer held the Tritons without a goal for a span of just over 16 minutes, closing the deficit to 5-3 at the half and having several quality chances to trim the lead even more in the third quarter.
Luca DeVivo finally ended the UC San Diego drought with 24 seconds left in the third quarter to give the Tritons some breathing room, and Pomona-Pitzer wasn't able to challenge in the fourth. Junior Clayton Hardman and sophomore Phillip Clayman each had two goals in the losing cause, while junior Stephen Vint added one.
Clayman also had the highlight-reel goal of the day for Pomona-Pitzer against USC to give the Sagehens their first tally. He was off-center on the right side of the pool with his back to goal, and attempted a spinning blind backhand that hit off the far post and crossed the line to make the score 5-1, after the top-ranked Trojans struck for five goals in the first 3:20 of the game.
Baker and fellow freshman Tommy Tuner scored first quarter goals to get Pomona-Pitzer within 7-3 with 1:19 left in the opening stanza, but USC scored twice in the final 1:05 of the first quarter, and added two more to start the second quarter and push the lead to 11-3. Baker scored his second man-up, but USC was able to score four unanswered to close out the half with a 15-4 lead and were able to cruise from there.
All four goalies played for the Sagehens against USC, with senior Tyler Hill having a solid effort with eight saves in 14 minutes. Hill went the distance in the UC San Diego loss and had 13 saves.
Pomona-Pitzer completes play tomorrow at the Inland Empire Tournament at Redlands, facing No. 18 Redlands at 9 a.m. and No. 9 UC Irvine at 1:15 p.m.