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Water polo struggles to get wins

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Scoring for La Verne, utility player Laura Larsen played a tough game against Whittier on Wednesday at home. The Leopards were trailing the Poets 7-2 toward the end of the second period. La Verne will host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 10 a.m. Saturday. / photo by Courtney Droke

Scoring for La Verne, utility player Laura Larsen played a tough game against Whittier on Wednesday at home. The Leopards were trailing the Poets 7-2 toward the end of the second period. La Verne will host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 10 a.m. Saturday. / photo by Courtney Droke

Madison Steff
Managing Editor

The La Verne women’s water polo team had an opportunity to improve its record by playing Southern California Intercolleg­iate Athletic Conference opponent Whittier at home Wednesday but was handed its third loss in a row with an overall record of 14-4.

“Sometimes a team can encounter setbacks like today but all you can do is take it as a learning experience,” said Laura Larsen, a senior liberal studies major and utility player for the Leopards.”Hopefully it will help us with future games.”

The Leopards did not receive many opportunities to shoot throughout the game and could not capitalize on their offensive plays.

La Verne holds high standards when it comes to shooting and will not waste a shot unless they are sure they can make it.

The La Verne defense on the other hand was stable and they were able to adjust to what their opponent was running and at times held the Poets.

The Leopards seemed to lack the energy that Whittier brought to the game resulting again in a loss.

“The other team seemed like they wanted it more and consequently we paid the price for not coming out with that fire in our eye,” Larsen said.

Currently La Verne has an overall record of 6-10.

“Today didn’t show our potential,” senior utility Katie Watkins said.

Last Saturday the Leopards lost to another SCIAC opponent, the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens at Claremont, 18-12.

“It was a tough game against one of the top teams in our conference and we kept up with them,” Lindsay Jones, junior goalie said.

In the first quarter the Leopards struggled against the Sagehens and appeared to be lacking defense.

The game got off to a slow start but after a time out called by head coach Tim Hugar, the women began to pick up the pace.

“Our momentum changed when our coach called a time out,” Jones said. “We began to focus on what we needed to get done.”

“We were playing the No.1 or No. 2 team in our conference and we knew we could play better than we were,” Watkins said.

In the third quarter the Leopards were back in the game after Watkins scored three consecutive goals to close the gap.

“We just started communicating and moving the ball well,” Watkins said.

Although the Leopards began to pull it together, they still lacked the intensity of their opponent.

The Sagehens had a much larger team than La Verne, allowing them to rotate players more frequently and leaving the Leopards fatigued.

After playing catch up, the Leopards were still unable to defeat the Sagehens, losing the game 18-12.

As a result the Leopards were left with a 6-9 record overall.

Beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow the Leopards will play a doubleheader versus Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Cal State East Bay at the La Verne Aquatic Center.

The Leopards will conclude their season next week with two conference matches against Redlands and Occidental, before heading to Thousand Oaks for the SCIAC Championship Tournament on April 25-27.

“We need to work on our offense and capitalizing on others mistakes,” Jones said.

“Hopefully we can take what we learned from the past two games and use it this weekend,” Larsen said.

La Verne is currently in last place in the SCIAC women’s water polo standings behind Whittier.

Madison Steff can be reached at msteff@ulv.edu.

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