Last Saturday was a tough day for the ladies of the La Verne water polo team.
In a doubleheader against Pomona-Pitzer and Cal State East Bay, they managed to keep their winless streak intact.
The first game against Pomona-Pitzer proved to be a tough matchup, as the Leopards lost, 12-4.
The team struggled to fight with the No. 1 ranked Division III team.
“In the first game we really struggled,” said Katie Watkins, a junior driver. “We just were not used to seeing their level of play.”
The team worked hard on the defensive front but they just could not shut down the Sagehens’ all-around offensive attack, with eight players contributing goals.
The second game, on the other hand, was a major change of pace for the Leopards. The Leopards went out with a new energy that was not there in the first game.
The crowd was on pins and needles as the game went back and forth.
The game came down to the final quarter when the Leopards scored a goal to tie it up, 4-4.
Then, with only 90 seconds left on the clock, East Bay junior Laura Demeneces scored the winning goal, finishing the game at 5-4.
Despite the one-point loss, the team was proud of its accomplishments.
“East Bay was probably the best game we played as a team,” said Melinda Fairman a sophomore utility player. “We came out with a lot of intensity and energy, which is hard considering that we just got spanked the game before.”
On Wednesday, the Leopards dropped another conference match at home against Redlands.
Through the first half the teams showed little offense, as both struggled to score against strong defense played by both sides.
Right before the half the Bulldogs scored, putting them up 1-0.
Redlands added five more goals in the second half as the Leopards fell short again, 6-2.
For the Leopards, Lindsey Watson scored both goals, giving her 50 for the year.
It has been a rough season for the La Verne women.
They are entering their final Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game with an 0-6 record.
Despite the not-so-impressive record, four out the six SCIAC games have been extremely close.
This has been a season plagued with sickness, injury and emotional battles.
The team has a shallow bench, so many of the other teams have a number advantage over our Leopards.
“Being 0-6 is hard on our confidence,” said assistant coach Fred Sicard. “But the girls are hungry for a win, so they keep on playing hard.”
Still the Leopards have learned to come together as a new team.
Two of the starters are freshmen.
Despite the fact the team is young, they have some strong prospects for next year.
Among them is freshman Amanda Fernandez, who is now the second highest scorer on the team.
“Amanda has really stepped it up. She is a lot more aggressive,” said Sicard.
The team plays at 11 a.m. tomorrow against Caltech and are looking to finish the season on a strong note.
“We just need to convert our talent into wins, which we totally have the ability to do,” Fairman said.
Jillian Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.