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The Sagehen Report for May 13

Sallie Walecka '15 scored a rare-buzzer beating goal to give the Pomona-Pitzer Water Polo team a 13-12 win over Iona in the seventh-place match at the NCAA Championships.

Sallie Walecka '15 scored a rare-buzzer beating goal to give the Pomona-Pitzer Water Polo team a 13-12 win over Iona in the seventh-place match at the NCAA Championships.

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This week in Pomona-Pitzer Athletics was all about the NCAA Championships, with Women’s Tennis and Women’s Water Polo showing impressive heart with some thrilling comebacks, and Baseball getting the good news it was crossing its fingers for all week.

Women’s Water Polo ended its 2013 season on the highest of notes, rallying from a 12-8 deficit in the final 4:30 of regulation to capture a 13-12 win over 20th-ranked Iona in the seventh-place match on Sunday at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool. Sallie Walecka ’15 gave the Sagehens the win with a buzzer-beater from 10 meters out to complete a 5-0 run in a span of six possessions. (Pomona-Pitzer actually scored on its other possession too, but the goal was waved off due to a violation.)

The comeback started on a goal from Katy Schaefer PI ’16, her team-high fifth of the game, and Chrissie Alving-Trinh ’15 followed with a goal on a 6-on-5 to close the deficit to 12-10. Leading scorer Alyssa Woodward ’15 then struck twice in a row, the first time on a rebound off a shot off the crossbar from Vicky Gyorffy ’15, and the second time from five meters out on a power play to tie the score with 46 seconds left. After Pomona-Pitzer earned a steal, the Sagehens killed the clock and Schaefer passed the ball to Walecka at the top for the game-winning goal as the horn sounded. Sarah Tuggy ’13 also came up big for Pomona-Pitzer in goal in her final collegiate match with 15 saves, six in the fourth quarter, to keep her team in striking distance.

Pomona-Pitzer opened the tournament against No. 1 and eventual champion USC and Schaefer scored on the first possession to give the Sagehens a short-lived 1-0 lead. USC’s speed and strength was overwhelming, though, as the Trojans didn’t allow Pomona-Pitzer to get anywhere near their goal the rest of the way, cruising to the opening-round win. The Sagehens played a much more competitive game in the second round against No. 12 San Diego in the consolation round, falling 15-8, as Woodward had three goals and three assists. Gyorffy was named to the All-Tournament team for Pomona-Pitzer.

Women’s Tennis also had some comebacks of its own against nationally ranked teams. Pomona-Pitzer trailed 2-1 after doubles in the NCAA Regional finals against No. 11 Redlands but rallied for a 5-2 win. The clinching point came from Jamie Solomon ’13, who was down 4-0 in the first set at No. 1, but came all the way back for a 6-4 win and then won 6-4, 6-4 to end the match and give the Sagehens a 5-2 win.

Solomon and Mae Coyiuto ’16 were part of another big comeback in the NCAA Regional finals against undefeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, as they came back from a 7-4 deficit to take a 9-7 win at No. 2 doubles to give Pomona-Pitzer a 2-1 lead going into singles. Solomon and Coyiuto only played doubles together once all year, but Coyiuto was called into duty to fill in for an injured teammate and responded with a big comeback. Arthi Padmanabhan ’14 and Lea Lynn Yen ’16 took an 8-5 win at No. 3 doubles, and Padmanabhan won both of her singles matches on the weekend (6-0, 6-1 over Redlands, 6-1, 7-6 over CMS), to end her season on a 10-match win streak in both singles and doubles.

The Women’s Tennis team ends its season at 15-7, but Kara Wang ’13 and Sammy Chao ’14 will continue on to compete in the NCAA Division III Doubles championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan on May 23-25. The Men’s Tennis doubles team of Frankie Allinson ’13 and Max Sabel PI ’13 will also attend the championships as well.

Another Sagehen team also gets to continue its season, as Baseball earned its first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championships, and will open against Texas-Tyler on Wednesday at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) at Concordia University in Austin, Texas. The Sagehens will be the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Regional, which also includes Cal Lutheran from the SCIAC (the No. 2 seed) and top-ranked Linfield, which Pomona-Pitzer faced three times at Alumni Field in April. The Sagehens will be making their first NCAA appearance since 2010, when it also opened with Texas-Tyler winning 12-6. For all the details about the NCAA Championships, click the following link on Concordia’s website: Tournament Home Page.

Isabelle Ambler ‘13 recorded the No. 6 all-time heptathlon mark in Pomona-Pitzer women's track and field history on Thursday and Friday at the CMS Heptathlon. Ambler, fresh of her steeplechase school record a week prior, set personal bests in the 100 hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump and javelin on her way to a 3422 point total. Ambler clocked 17.54 in the 100-meter hurdles, high jumped 4-6, threw the shot put 23-10 1/4, ran 28.24 in the 200 meters, long jumped 14-7 3/4, threw the javelin 61-10 and ran the 800 meters in 2:25.13.

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 Games in Bold

Wednesday, May 15
Baseball vs. Texas-Tyler (NCAA Championships), 5 p.m.
at Concordia University (Austin, Texas)

Thursday, May 16
Baseball vs. TBA (NCAA Championships), TBA
 at Concordia University (Austin, Texas)

Friday, May 17
Baseball vs. TBA (NCAA Championships), TBA – if Sagehens advance
 at Concordia University (Austin, Texas)

Saturday, May 18
Baseball vs. TBA (NCAA Championships), TBA – if Sagehens advance
 at Concordia University (Austin, Texas)