by Amanda Egan
and Ryan MacDonald
Editor in Chief
The University of La Verne women’s water polo team came out on top in its latest match with a key conference defeat against Pomona-Pitzer, 7-6.
“Everyone played well; they all stuck together,” assistant coach Mike Miles said.
The two teams faced each other on a hot day at the Sagehens pool, and each team competed strong throughout the first three quarters.
During the first half of play the Sagehens dominated the pace of the game and left the Leopards behind, 3-2.
The two goals scored by ULV in the first half were contributed by freshman Gabi Bahlo.
The Leopards were not satisfied with the outcome of their first half play, so they came out attacking in the beginning of the second half.
Within the first thirty seconds, Bahlo scored and put the Leopards in a tie with the Sagehens.
Pomona came back strong putting away two more goals during their next possessions.
“All of our conference games come down to which team comes out hungry and wants it more,” Miles said.
The fight continued as La Verne came back in the third quarter scoring two goals.
Junior Jennifer Pacheco and senior Tandis Morgan put away one goal each.
At the end of three quarters of play, the Leopards and Sagehens had each scored 5 goals .
The intensity of the match intensified as each team shouted their mascots name and swam out for the final quarter of play.
The Leopards gained possession and moved quickly on offense. Fifteen seconds into the final half, Morgan scored an impressive goal, which gave the Leopards a one-goal lead.
Pomona came back hungry and quickly and responded with a goal of their own, putting the game at an even score with three minutes remaining.
ULV proved to be the better team this afternoon when sophomore Sara Kelly scored the clutch goal that put La Verne on top with a final score of 7-6.
“All of our conference games are tough,” Miles said. “We are competing with the five top teams in the nation.”
Those teams, which include the University of Redlands, Occidental College, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, all participate in SCIAC.
Because of this victory, the Leopards moved up in the Division III National ranking.
The team was ranked No. 4, but because its victory over the previously ranked No. 2 Sagehens, the Leopards are now ranked No. 2.
ULV has a 13-4 overall record and 2-1 record in conference play. The team lost its second conference match to the University of Redlands last Saturday, 6-2. The Leopards were able to hold off the Bulldogs through three quarters, but failed to close out the final quarter.
ULV will next face the Chapman Panthers. The game will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Las Flores Park.