Sagehen Celebration: Men's Water Polo Lands Championship
The men's water polo team on Sunday captured its first SCIAC Championship since 1980 with a 13-10 win over the University of Redlands. This is the third SCIAC Championship in the Pomona-Pitzer program's history (1967, 1980) and the first for Head Coach Alex Rodriguez.
The victories began on Friday, when the Sagehens defeated La Verne 10-6 in the first round of competition. Ryan Balikan, Mark D'Avino, and David Mock each scored two goals, while Keeper Grant Cooper recorded seven saves.
In the second round, Pomona-Pitzer escaped with a 12-11 win over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. After trailing 7-5 at the half, the Sagehen's pulled ahead in the fourth period, sparked by three goals each from Balikan and Field Garthwaite. Cooper held down the net with six saves.
Against Redlands in the finals, the Sagehens were facing a team that they had lost to earlier in the season, and the host institution. These factors didn't faze Pomona-Pitzer as the team clung to a 5-4 halftime lead. The final score was 13-10. Ben Hadley led the Sagehens in scoring with 3 goals, and seven others contributed in the scoring; Grant Cooper tallied 8 saves.