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The Sagehen Report for October 1

 Ben Girodias (303), Alex Johnson (306) and Alex Johann (305) all earned top 10 finishes for the Men’s Cross Country team at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, helping the Sagehens to a second place finish

Ben Girodias (303), Alex Johnson (306) and Alex Johann (305) all earned top 10 finishes for the Men’s Cross Country team at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, helping the Sagehens to a second place finish

The Pomona-Pitzer Men’s Cross Country Invitational gets underway at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday morning.

The Pomona-Pitzer Men’s Cross Country Invitational gets underway at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday morning.

This week in Sagehen Athletics saw the Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams make important moves up the SCIAC standings, the Volleyball team use a dramatic comeback to improve its postseason chance, and the Men’s Cross Country team put forth an impressive performance at its host invitational.

Men’s Soccer had the busiest week with three home games, and came through with seven important points (two wins and a tie) to jump from seventh to second in the SCIAC standings in a span of five days. The week began with a 1-1 tie with then first-place Redlands, as Guy Thyer ’16 netted a second-half goal to help the Sagehens overcome a 1-0 deficit. On Wednesday, Pomona-Pitzer earned a solid 2-0 win over Occidental, without allowing the Tigers a single shot on goal, as Thyer scored again just 1:22 into the second half and Danny Nasry ’13 added an insurance goal to provide the margin of victory.

On Saturday, Nathan Shekita ’15 had two goals and two assists in a 4-0 win over Caltech to complete the 2-0-1 week, as the Sagehens had all of their scoring in the first half. Mark Raftrey ’15 and Erik Munzer PI ’13 also added goals for Pomona-Pitzer. The Sagehens have two short road trips this week as they try to solidify their hold on one of the top four spots in the SCIAC, visiting La Verne on Wednesday and crossing the street to meet first-place CMS on Saturday.

The Women’s Soccer team also used a win over Occidental and a tie with Redlands to move into fourth place in the conference, behind a huge week from Allie Tao ’14. Tao had two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win at Occidental on Wednesday and then scored midway through the second half to give the Sagehens a 1-0 lead over Redlands on Saturday. Redlands tied the game in the 84th minute, and Pomona-Pitzer’s last minute effort to win the game in the second overtime, as Tao had a shot saved and the rebound was cleared off the line by a Bulldogs defender. The Sagehens begin a pivotal three-game homestand this week with a home game against La Verne on Wednesday, before entertaining CMS on Saturday.

Volleyball appeared to be in trouble at home against Redlands on Friday night, falling behind 2-0, but came back for a dramatic 3-2 win. The Sagehens fought off a match point in the fourth game to win 26-24, and then came back from an 11-8 deficit to win 17-15 in the decisive fifth game. Michelle Schultz ’16 continued her spectacular freshman season with 21 kills and 18 digs, while Ellen Yamasaki PI ’15 also had a double-double with 10 kills and 16 digs. The comeback was pivotal, as the Sagehens are now just one game out of fourth place in the SCIAC, and complete their three-game homestand this week with big home matches against CMS on Tuesday and La Verne on Friday, before going to Whittier on Saturday.

Men’s Cross Country had an exceptional performance at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, finishing second out of 10 teams, behind only NAIA power CSU San Marcos (ranked No. 2  nationally in NAIA). The Sagehens had the 7-8-9 finishers (among attached runners), as Alex Johnson PI ’13 was seventh with a 25:35.9, Ben Girodias ’15 was eighth with a 25:40.4 and Alex Johann ’14 was ninth with a 25:46.7. Women’s Cross Country finished fourth, without All-American Annie Lydens ’13, as Camille Matonis ’15 and Claire Brickson ’14 were the top finishers on the team at 23:34.2 and 23:35.1.

This week will see the athletic department host another big event as the Men’s Water Polo team, which was idle this past week, hosts the Gary Troyer Tournament on Friday and Saturday (along with CMS and La Verne). The tournament was formerly called the Claremont Convergence, but was renamed in memory of former water polo coach Gary Troyer. The Sagehens face Cal Baptist and Harvard on Friday, and then meet Johns Hopkins and Fordham on Saturday, after opening SCIAC play with a home match against La Verne on Wednesday.

Football faced a tough SCIAC opener, traveling to No. 8 Cal Lutheran, and battled but fell 38-10 to the nationally ranked Kingsmen. Luke Sweeney ’13 saw his first action of the season after leading NCAA Division III in rushing last year and had a solid effort with 80 yards on 22 carries. Luke Ferguson ’13 connected with Yoshi Rothman ’13 on a 50-yard touchdown pass to account for Pomona-Pitzer’s touchdown, as Rothman went over 100 yards receiving for the second game in a row (seven catches for 111 yards).

The Men’s Tennis and Women’s Tennis teams had their big fall event this weekend with the ITA West Regionals at CMS, and saw some terrific individual performances. Chris Wiechert PI ’14 was one set from winning the individual championship, but came up just short in a 6-2, 4-6, 5-7 defeat to Neel Kotrappa of CMS. Wiechert breezed into the final with a 6-0, 6-0 quarterfinal win, and a 6-3, 6-1 semifinal victory. Max Sabel PI ’13 reached the quarterfinals in singles with a win over the No. 1 seed in the entire field, and then reached the semifinals in doubles with Frankie Allinson ’13. Mae Coyuito ’16 reached the semifinals in her first collegiate competition on the women’s side.

To keep up to date with all the Pomona-Pitzer athletics action, follow us on the web at www.sagehens.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sagehens, or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sagehens

This Week’s Schedule

Home Events In Bold

Tuesday, Oct. 2
Volleyball (H) vs. CMS, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday Oct. 3
Men’s Water Polo (H) vs. La Verne, 4 p.m.
Women’s Soccer (H) vs. La Verne, 4 p.m.
Men’s Soccer at La Verne, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 5
Men’s Water Polo (H) vs. Cal Baptist, 2 p.m.
Men’s Water Polo (H) vs. Harvard, 7:20 p.m.
Volleyball (H) vs. La Verne, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 6
Women’s Soccer (H) vs. CMS, 11 a.m.
Men’s Water Polo (H) vs. Johns Hopkins, 11:40 a.m.
Men’s Water Polo (H) vs. Harvard, 6 p.m.
Volleyball at Whittier, 6 p.m.
Football at Chapman, 7 p.m.
Men’s Soccer at CMS, 7 p.m.