> 2018 SCIAC Women's Water Polo Tournament Central
The field for the 2018 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Women's Water Polo Tournament has been set. Postseason action is slated to begin Friday, April 27 on the campuses of top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer and second-seeded Cal Lutheran.
Pomona-Pitzer (20-10) earned the top seed in the SCIAC Championship Tournament after securing an unblemished, 14-0 mark during regular season league action. In last season's conference tournament, the Sagehens downed Redlands, 18-6, and La Verne, 15-8, before topping Whittier, 9-3 in the tournament finale. Pomona-Pitzer then fell to University of the Pacific in the NCAA First Round. The top-seeded Sagehens host fourth-seeded Whittier (9-16, 7-7 SCIAC) at 4 p.m. on Friday in the tournament semifinals.
Cal Lutheran boasts an overall record of 20-8 and finished the regular season SCIAC slate with a 12-2 mark. The Regals will host third-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) which enters conference postseason play 18-9 overall, 11-3 in SCIAC play, in Friday's other semifinal contest at 4 p.m. The winners will then meet in the SCIAC Tournament championship game on Sunday, April 29 on the campus of the highest remaining seed.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD
Pomona-Pitzer takes to the pool in the SCIAC postseason having won nine straight games and 13 of its last 14. In the Sagehens' first meeting with Whittier - a 20-7 victory over the Poets on February 28 - Jocelyn Castro and Kahea Kahaulelio led Pomona-Pitzer with five and four goals respectively as 10 players found the back of the net in the win. Anastacia Gonzalez led Whittier with five of the Poets' seven goals, while Noa Cravens turned away three shots in the losing effort. In the rematch on March 31, Pomona-Pitzer bested Whittier, 14-4, on the strength of a combined seven goals from Castro and Kahaulelio. The Sagehens' net-minding duo of Haley Crabtree (seven saves) and Morgan Stockham (three saves) helped secure the win, while Cravens made seven saves in the losing effort for the Poets. Whittier enters semifinal action having won three of its last five games to close out the season.
Cal Lutheran has won four of its last five games, but is looking to rebound from a tough, 11-10 loss to CMS in the regular season finale. The Regals' only other conference loss came to Pomona-Pitzer (9-4) on March 28. In the regular season finale, Victoria Rose Meek and Nicole Roed each fired in goals in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough as a pair of Roxy Kiessling markers in the final stanza sealed the win for the Athenas. Kiessling finished with seven goals in the winning effort for CMS, while Kristi McGee led Cal Lutheran in defeat with four goals. In the first meeting this season, the Regals edged the Athenas, 8-4 on the strength of a Meek hat trick and 16 saves from Bailey Meyer.