The University of La Verne women’s water polo team won three out of four matches at the Lancer Invitational hosted by Cal Baptist over the weekend.
The Leopards defeated Division III teams including Chapman and Wheaton, as well as St. Francis, a Division I college from New York.
The sole loss of the weekend ULV faced was to the host school, CBU.
The two day tournament opened on Friday with La Verne first facing St. Francis, defeating the Terriers, 9-2.
Freshman Mahina Reyes led the Leopards with three goals.
Juniors Katie Watkins and Lindsey Watson contributed two goals each to the win.
“We stepped up against the Division III schools, which will ultimately have a big impact at the end of the season,” junior utility Laura Larsen said.
Larsen said that the Leopards focused on the Division III schools they faced in order to prepare for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competitors they will be playing toward the end of March.
Unfortunately for ULV, the host school could not be defeated as the Leopards suffered an 11-3 loss to CBU.
Watson contributed a game high two goals to the match.
“It’s still the beginning of the season,” sophomore goalie Lindsay Jones said. “We have some things we need to work on but I feel that we will be ready for conference play.”
The Leopards shook off the only loss of the tournament and won both matches of day two.
“I feel that the team improves with every game,” Larsen said of the turnaround.
In the first match of the day, La Verne defeated Wheaton, 10-8, with Watson contributing four goals.
The Leopards added to their wins, as ULV defeated Chapman, 7-5.
Freshman Amanda Fernandez scored four goals in the match.
“Overall we played great,” Fred Sicard, assistant coach said. “We decided to put a little more pressure on the teams of day two.”
Sicard said that the competition against Division I schools is always a challenge because they are a lot faster, so it was easier to put more focus on the other Division III schools at the tournament.
“I think we were successful at this tournament,” Larsen said.
Both Larsen and Jones said that in preparation for the teams in SCIAC, the Leopards plan to step up and win the close conference games because they know that each match will be close as well as to keep a positive unity with the team.
“Our goal is to take every game, game by game,” Sicard said.
Currently ULV has a 5-4 record in overall play.
The Leopards will take part in the two day Claremont Tournament over the weekend. The first match will be against Chapman at Pomona-Pitzer.
Marilee Lorusso can be reached at email@example.com.