Whittier Poets Top Kingsmen Water Polo For Second Time This Season


CLU Sports

Junior goalkeeper Andre Rivas blocks the Whittier Poets from adding to the score on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Gabrielle Renteria, Reporter

The California Lutheran University Kingsmen water polo team played conference opponent Whittier College on Saturday, Oct. 26, losing 11-8.

As the game began, each team sprinted off the lane lines to engage in a battle for the ball. Whittier took possession of the ball first, and was able to get the first point of the game in just under two minutes of play.

Sophomore left attacker Justin Krause scored the first goal for the Kingsmen several minutes later. First-year center Cole Weiderman scored again with just 20 seconds left in the quarter, leaving the score at 2-1 in the Kingsmen’s favor.

“I think there’s a lot we can build off… I mean Whittier’s a good team, number one in our conference right now, and I think we played well [and] improved from the last time we played them,” senior attacker George Lundgren said.

As the second quarter began, Whittier was able to score, tying the game 2-2. The Kingsmen answered with a goal from junior attacker Parker Jory.

By the end of the second quarter Whittier led 7-3.

“We had a let down in the second quarter and they kind of jumped on it… We’re a really good team when we are executing a game plan and when we fall off that page the other teams usually take advantage,” Head Coach Craig Rond said.

The Kingsmen went into half-time down by four, with a lot of ground to cover.

Whittier scored another goal at the start of the third quarter, making the score 8-3. The two teams grappled back and forth throughout the quarter, as the Kingsmen tried to catch up. The defense was able to stop most of the offensive plays made by Whittier, but the quarter ended with a score of 9-6 in Whittier’s favor.

The final quarter of the game began, and the Kingsmen took possession of the ball after winning the sprint. Each team played defensively for several minutes before the first goal of the quarter was scored by the Poets, putting the game at 10-6.

The Kingsmen answered with a goal of their own by Lundgren shortly after, putting them behind by three with four and a half minutes of play remaining. Each team scored one more goal, with Whittier coming out on top, putting the final score at 11-8.

Cal Lutheran is now sixth in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a record of 4-5.

“We have to put this game behind us. We have a really tough game on the road at Redlands on Wednesday and I think the winner of that will be in the drivers seat to be in the top four,” Rond said.

SCIAC changed their rules in 2017, only allowing the top four teams in the conference a chance to compete for the title.

Lundgren said he still has hopes of winning out the rest of the season to earn the team a seat at the SCIAC table.

“I think we’re gonna have to mentally be focused… and you know get prepared for Redlands on Wednesday because that’s gonna be out biggest game of the year,” Lundgren said.

Assistant Coach Jack Kirby also believes the Kingsmen have a chance to make it to the championships.

“I still think they have a fighting chance to make it to the final four, and who knows, if they can pull it together they can really pull it through,” Kirby said.

The Kingsmen will hit the road as they face off against the University of Redlands on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.