The University of Redlands women's water polo team opened Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action against the Chapman University Panthers on Saturday at the Thompson Aquatic Center. Despite matching the Panthers' goals in the second, third, and fourth quarters, the visiting team's two-goal first quarter provided the difference that led to the Bulldogs' 3-5 loss.
While Chapman netted two goals in the first period, sophomore goalkeeper Kelly Grosswendt (Newbury Park, CA) made three keys stops for the Bulldogs to keep the score close.
Sophomore center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI) attempted the quick Bulldog comeback, as she netted the first Maroon and Gray goal only a minute into the second period. Grosswendt minimized the Panthers' chances by corralling four huge saves between the posts before the visitors netted their only goal of the second, which came a minute before the clock expired for halftime.
Again, Redlands came out firing in the third frame, with sophomore utility player Rachel Nelson (San Juan Capistrano, CA) notching a netter only two minutes in. Sophomore goalkeeper Katelyn Jenkins (Bellevue, WA) took over between the posts and recorded four stops while allowing one goal to keep Chapman at bay.
Down 2-5, the Bulldogs knew they had work to do in the fourth period. Junior attack player Michelle Na (Mercer Island, WA) secured a final shot that went in with six seconds left on the clock.
Although the Bulldogs put up great competition in a defensive effort, Chapman's two early goals proved to be the difference.
The Bulldogs (5-15, 0-1 SCIAC) take on Occidental College and Brown University (RI) in a tri-match on Saturday, March 25. Game times are slotted for 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.