The University of Redlands women's water polo team headed to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship Tournament at the University of La Verne on Friday, April 21, for its opening match of the double-elimination event. The No. 7-seeded Bulldogs took on No. 2 Pomona-Pitzer in the first game of the tournament but struggled to match the Sagehens' offensive output in a 6-18 loss.
The Sagehens got off to a hot start by putting up five goals on the Bulldogs. Freshman attack player Olivia Allen (Santa Monica, CA) took matters into her own hands when she scored Redlands' only goal through the posts with 14 ticks left on the first-period clock.
During the second, the Maroon and Gray came alive on both ends of the pool. The Bulldogs matched Pomona-Pitzer's three goals with three goals of their own to claw away at the deficit for a 4-8 hole at the midway point of the game. Sophomore attack player Sami Walker (Taylorsville, UT) started the rally at the 4:35-mark. After two scoreless minutes, Allen fed a nice pass to sophomore center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI) for the Bulldogs' goal. Redlands also fired off the last netter of the stanza, as sophomore utility player Rachel Nelson (San Juan Capistrano, CA) found sophomore driver Katelyn Jenkins (Bellevue, WA), who blasted a shot into the back of the net.
However, the Sagehens responded with a six-spot in the third, which forced the Bulldogs to work back from a 10-goal deficit.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs continued to fight, with Walker completing a hat trick by notching her second and third goals in the final 90 seconds of the game.
Redlands (8-22, 3-6 SCIAC) faces Caltech in an elimination game on Saturday, April 22, at 9 a.m. at La Verne. Fans may follow along through live-streaming at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/sciac/.