The University of Redlands women's water polo team took on Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Senior Day at the Thompson Aquatic Center. Before the Saturday morning match got underway, the Bulldogs recognized lone senior Chum Alvarez-Zakson (Santa Monica, CA) for all her contributions over her four years at Redlands.
Redlands jumped out to an early 2-0 lead off of back-to-back goals by sophomore center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI).
At the 2:11-mark of the first quarter, the Athenas put their first goal into the back of the net, but the Bulldogs responded just 15 seconds later when sophomore attack player Sami Walker (Taylorsville, UT) fired off a netter for Redlands' 3-1 advantage.
Unfortunately for the home team, CMS scored a buzzer-beater to end the first quarter and close the gap to one score.
Sophomore utility player Rachel Nelson (San Juan Capistrano, CA) kicked off the second period with a goal just a minute-and-a-half into the action to extend Redlands' lead. But CMS continued to chip away at the deficit and ultimately tied it at four apiece by the halftime break.
The score remained even through the first four minutes of the third quarter, with each team netting one. Alvarez-Zakson nailed one through the posts for a goal on her Senior Day. After the Maroon and Gray endured three scoreless minutes, freshman attack player Olivia Allen (Santa Monica, CA) notched a goal, which was soon followed by another Kahahawai goal for the 7-5 home team's advantage through three periods.
However, a spark was lit in the Athenas in the fourth, as they equalized the score at 7-7 midway through the frame. The teams continued to trade netters, with Allen scoring her second goal of the day for the Bulldogs.
The clock ran out with the score still knotted, sending the Bulldogs into their first overtime game of the season.
After neither team scored in the first three-minute overtime period, Redlands worked the ball around for Nelson, who dodged a couple of CMS defenders and blasted it past the goalkeeper for the eventual game-winner. The stingy Redlands defense kept the Athenas off the board for the remaining minutes of overtime and secured the hard-fought 9-8 win.
The victory would not have been possible without the quick reactions of sophomore goalkeeper Katelyn Jenkins (Bellevue, WA), who made an incredible 17 saves on the day, with four coming in the overtime periods.
The Bulldogs (8-19, 3-3 SCIAC) continue SCIAC action when they head to the University of La Verne on Wednesday, April 12, for a 4 p.m. showdown.