April 24, 2012

Top-Seeded Sagehens Open SCIAC Tournament Friday vs. Caltech

Claremont, Calif. - The top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer Women's Water Polo team will open SCIAC Tournament play on Friday, when it takes on Caltech at 5:30 p.m. at Whittier College.

The Sagehens earned the top seed by going a perfect 7-0 in the SCIAC this season, although it was not easy. Pomona-Pitzer won four of the seven matches in overtime, capped off by a triple-overtime sudden-death win on Saturday at Whittier, as it remained unbeaten (12-0) against Division III teams this year.

It has been a strong bounce-back season for Pomona-Pitzer, which has used an influx of freshman talent to balance some strong senior leadership. Freshman Alyssa Woodward (Riverside, Calif. - pictured) leads the Saghens this year with 75 goals and has been part of a rookie class that has scored 178 of the team's 295 goals. Sarah Westcott (Menlo Park, Calif.) has added 41 and Mahalia Prater-Fahey (San Diego, Calif.) has chipped in with 38.

The veterans have also had a key role in the success, as senior co-captains Annie Oxborough-Yankus (Wallingford, Conn.) and Perri Hopkins (Agoura, Calif.) have combined for 77 goals (48 and 29, respectively). The duo had consecutive goals 30 seconds apart on their Senior Day on Wednesday to help the Sagehens pull away from CMS 8-5 and then Oxborough-Yankus had three and Hopkins had the game-winner in triple-overtime in the Whittier win.

Junior Sarah Tuggy (Los Angeles, Calif.) has also been a defensive standout this season with 131 saves, while splitting goalie duties with freshmen Rachel Noll (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Sallie Walecka (Palo Alto, Calif.) for much of the season before playing full-time during SCIAC play.

The SCIAC Championship is determined by a combination of the regular season round-robin standings and the results of the tournament. The Sagehens earned the lead in points after round-robin play by going 7-0, but the conference title is still up for grabs, as Redlands (6-1) is only one point behind and Occidental (5-2) trails by two.

To view the tournament home page, go to the following link:

http://www.wcpoets.com/sports/wwaterpolo/2011-12/files/SCIAC_Championships