Men's Water Polo: Sagehens Split Saturday Doubleheader

Men's Water Polo: Sagehens Split Saturday Doubleheader

CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Water Polo Team split their Saturday doubleheader, taking a dominating 16-8 victory against University of La Verne before dropping a close contest on the road to Whittier College 7-5.

Season Impact: The Sagehens are now 19-10 overall and 9-3 in the SCIAC.

Pomona-Pitzer 16, La Verne 8

The Sagehens cruised to a comfortable victory over the Leopards on Saturday morning, as a dominant first period performance set the tone for the rest of the match. The Sagehens outshot the Leopards 37-25 and made 16 total steals to hold off the Leopards offense. Joseph Schafer and Ben Sasaki co-led with four goals each while goalkeepers Kellen Grant and James Kelbert had five saves each.

Schafer opened up the game with a goal two minutes into the period, but an exclusion by the Sagehens led to Chucky Ortega tying the game on a power play just 40 seconds later. However, Sam and Ben Sasaki scored back-to-back goals to give the Sagehens a 3-1 lead with 2:36 remaining. After Ortega scored on a 5-Meter penalty, Ben Sasaki netted twice and Adam Gross scored his first of the day to give the Sagehens a 6-2 lead to end the period.

Ortega earned a hat trick after scoring the opening goal of the third period, but the Sagehens continued to pull away. With 5:51 remaining in the half, Sam Sasaki scored to extend the lead 7-3. With 4:54 remaining, the Sagehens netted twice within 23 seconds thanks to goals by Schafer and Zach Senator. The Sagehens led 9-4 at the half.

Noah Sasaki opened the scoring in the third period with 5:44 remaining, but La Verne answered back thanks to a goal by Myles Storms. The Leopards never scored again for the remainder of the period as the Sagehens took a 11-5 lead to end the period.

The Leopards couldn't overcome the deficit in the final period as Schafer netted twice in the fourth quarter to lead the Sagehens to victory with ease.

Pomona-Pitzer 5, Whittier 7

Dylan Elliott scored a hat trick in the tight match against the Poets, but his efforts weren't enough to overcome a resilient Whitter College team. The Sagehens' defense held the Poets scoreless in 10 power play opportunities and made seven total steals. Kellan Grant made eight total saves at goal, but the Poets had enough offense to edge out the Sagehens by two goals.

Elliott opened the scoring in the first period with 4:28 remaining and netted another a minute later on a power play to give the Sagehens a 2-0 lead. With 1:49 remaining in the period, Elliott completed his hat trick to make it 3-0, but Whittier quickly the cut the lead after a goal by Cornelis Kriek.

The Poets cut the lead to one to open the second period, but with 3:27 remaining in the half, Joseph Schafer quickly extended the lead 4-2. However, with 37 seconds remaining, the Poets cut the lead back to one.

Keegan Coleman netted to start the third period, but the Poets came back with two goals to tie the game. The two sides remained tied for the rest of the third period. After an intense start to the final period, in which a goal from either side could break the game, the Poets caught a break with 3:29 remaining with a goal by Hans Zdolsek and latre a goal by Dominick Navarez with 2:10 remaining. The Poets held on for the win.

Up Next: The Sagehens will cross the street to face rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Wednesday, November 13 at 7:00 p.m.