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The Sagehen Report: Week of May 14

Perri Hopkins PI '12 rears back and scores a goal in the Pomona-Pitzer's NCAA match-up with top-ranked Stanford.

Perri Hopkins PI '12 rears back and scores a goal in the Pomona-Pitzer's NCAA match-up with top-ranked Stanford.

This week in Pomona-Pitzer Athletics saw three teams competing in the NCAA Championships, while almost two dozen Sagehens were honored by the SCIAC for their performances during the spring season. 

The Women’s Water Polo team was faced with a difficult challenge in the NCAA Women’s Water Polo National Championships, as the Sagehens drew top-ranked Stanford in the opening round. Pomona-Pitzer lost the game 17-5, but had plenty of highlights, as senior captains Annie Oxborough-Yankus ’12 (two goals) and Perri Hopkins PI ’12 each scored in the match. In fact, Oxborough-Yankus scored on the first Sagehen possession to tie the score 1-1 and Sarah Westcott ’15 hit the post with a chance to give Pomona-Pitzer a lead. 

Westcott, who went to high school three miles from Stanford’s campus, did get a goal later in the game, as did San Diego native Mahalia Prater-Fahey ’15, who was making a homecoming for the NCAA Championships at San Diego State University. The five goals were the most that Stanford allowed on the way to winning the national championship, defeating USC 6-4 in the title game.  The Sagehens also fell 12-2 to Loyola Marymount and 12-8 in overtime to Iona to finish the tournament in eighth place, but had seven different players score goals in the Iona match as they came back from two-goal deficits three times to force the extra sessions, while Sarah Tuggy ’13 had 12 saves in goal.

Prior to the NCAA Tournament, the SCIAC announced its postseason awards for Women’s Water Polo, and Oxborough-Yankus was named the Player of the Year, while Alyssa Woodward PI ’15 was named the Newcomer of the Year. Hopkins was also named to the first team, while Tuggy earned a spot on the second team. 

The Women’s Tennis team advanced to the NCAA Regional finals and gave top-seeded CMS all it could handle before falling 5-3 to end its season at 16-7. The match came down to No. 3 singles, where Kara Wang ’13 heroically battled back in the third set while fighting through severe cramps, as she was forced to serve underhand for the final few games and could barely move along the baseline. She fought off seven match points and came all the way back from a 5-2 deficit to force a tiebreaker, but would end up falling 7-2 in the tiebreaker as CMS clinched the match. 

Sammy Chao ’14 ended the year undefeated in Division III at 15-0 as she battled back from a first-set defeat to win in three sets at No. 2 singles against CMS and was 3-0 in the NCAA Tournament. Nicole Holsted ’12 was undefeated in both singles and doubles (along with doubles partner Emily Kawahara PI ’12) on the weekend, including a key 9-8 tiebreaker win in doubles and a comeback three-set win in a singles in a 5-2 regional semifinal win over Trinity (Texas).

The Men’s Tennis team also had a close battle with UC Santa Cruz on Friday in the NCAA Regional Semifinals, but fell 5-3. Frankie Allinson ’13 won at both singles and doubles, teaming with Max Sabel PI ’13 for an 8-2 win at No. 1 doubles and then rallying for a three-set win at No. 5 singles. However, the Banana Slugs were able to come back from a 2-1 deficit after doubles to win three three-set singles matches of their own to come back for the win. 

Prior to the NCAA Regionals, the SCIAC announced its Men’s Tennis awards and Tommy Meyer ’12 and Chris Wiechert PI ’14 earned first team honors, while Sabel and Connor Hudson ’15 were chosen to the second team. Meyer and Women’s Tennis player Jamie Solomon PI ’13 will go on to the NCAA Individual Championships on May 26-28 in Cary, North Carolina.

Baseball and Softball also announced their All-SCIAC honors as the Sagehens were well-represented with seven players from the baseball team honored, and six from the softball team. Baseball had five first-team selections: pitcher Travis Rooke-Ley PI ’12, first baseman James Campbell ’12, third baseman E.J. Lopez PI ’15, outfielder Nick Gentili ’13 and utility player Jake Bruml ’15. Second team selections were relief pitcher Guy Stevens ’13 and outfielder Erik Munzer PI ’13. 

Softball, meanwhile, had six players named All-SCIAC, including a pair of freshmen on the first team in center fielder Leah Bleichner ’15 and pitcher Fiona Riley ’15. Fellow freshmen Emily Glass ’15 and Jessica Liu ’15 were named to the second team, along with first baseman Bri Marcantoni PI ’12 and utility player Caitlyn Hynes ’14.  

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