The California Lutheran women's water polo team scored three goals in the fourth quarter to help seal the 2019 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Women's Water Polo Postseason Tournament championship on Sunday afternoon at Haldeman Pool on the campus of Pomona-Pitzer in Claremont, Calif.
The second-seeded Regals edged the top-seeded Sagehens, 10-9, and earned the SCIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament. Cal Lutheran enters the national tournament with an overall record of 21-8, while Pomona-Pitzer concludes its season 20-13 overall.
Following a first period that saw both teams score three goals, Cal Lutheran held a 2-1 advantage in the second quarter as Lexi Rond and Nicole Roed each scored to give the Regals a slim, 5-4 advantage at intermission. In the third quarter, Anna Yu scored back-to-back goals and Nadia Paquin and Janelle Lewis added a score each to highlight a four-goal frame for Pomona-Pitzer. Jessica Diaz and Victoria Meek also found the back of the cage for the Regals to make it 8-7 in favor of the Sagehens entering the fourth stanza.
A goal by Meek tied the game at 8-8, before Natalie Hill regained the lead with a score for the hosts with 5:38 to play in regulation. Rond netted the equalizer a minute later to make it 9-9, before Christin Hirn gave the Regals the win with her second marker of the contest at the 3:18 mark. Tournament MVP Bailey Meyer, who finished with eight saves and a steal, helped preserve the win and Cal Lutheran's second conference tournament crown, and first since 2009.
Rond finished with three goals, while Meek and Hirn added two each in the win, while Mardell Ramirez added two assists. Yu and Hill led Pomona-Pitzer's efforts with two goals each, while Morgan Stockham made five saves and three steals in the losing effort.