Water polo impresses during weekend

Chess match: Head coach Craig Rond strategizes with his team during a timeout Saturday against Claremont Mudd-Scripps College.
Photo by Andrew Domanski – Staff Photographer

Typical Southern California beach weather, 15 teams, 242 players and packed stands. This was the setting of the sixth annual Posada Royale Women’s Water Polo Tournament, hosted by CLU at the Samuelson Aquatics Center and at Oaks Christian High School.

The Regals swept through the first day of play, earning a pair of close wins.

The Regals played the first game of the tournament facing off against Division 1 opponent Villanova University. Both teams entered the match with winless records in the season, but in the end it was the Regals who prevailed with their first victory of the year 8-7.

Sophomore defender Adrienne Ingalla led the Regals offensively with a whopping five goals and three assists. Freshman goalkeeper Gina Merry was the defensive star of the game with eight saves.

“It was exciting getting our first win of the tournament against Villanova. They are a Division 1 program and it was a nice win,” said senior captain and goalkeeper Kylee Tomasetti.

Assistant coach Cody Pletcher was pleased with the performance he saw.

“Villanova has definitely gotten better over the years. It used to be an easy win for us because they weren’t a very good Division 1 opponent. But this year they got a lot of scholarship athletes in, so it made them a better team. That was our first game after two and a half weeks of not having any games. So it was a huge motivation win for us to go into our afternoon game,” said Pletcher.

The Regals’ last game of the day was against the defending SCIAC champions, the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens.

The game was a back and forth match that came down to the last seconds, but the Regals pulled it out again, ending the first day on a high note.

Sophomore Kehau Ai paced the Regals offense with three goals and sophomore Kaylee Kastrup shined on defense with five steals.

“That was the first time we beat them [Pomona-Pitzer] in the pre-season in a long time. So we have a lot of confidence,” said Pletcher.

“Getting two wins was a huge surprise,” said fellow senior captain and attacker Morgan McCardell. “We played really well together, we stepped up, we did what the coaches asked and we communicated well.”

In the first game of the second day, the Regals battled against another SCIAC opponent, Claremont Mudd-Scripps. Trying to feed off the energy and confidence from the previous day, the Regals played a very close match, but never managed to pull close enough and lost 9-7.

“It was a little bit of a let down. We know exactly where we can improve on and get better,” said McCardell.

The second game of the day had CLU pitted against the Division 1 powerhouse CSU Long Beach 49ers, who are ranked No.11 in the country. The game was never close with the final score ending 16-3. The Regals were clearly out-matched by the 49ers’ size and speed in the pool.

“It was just one of those games we will just block out of our memory and it is OK,” said McCardell, jokingly. “It’s all about experience and you have to go in and get shoved around a couple of times and so it’s OK.”

The Regals went on to split the last day of the tournament, losing to CSU East Bay 15-6 and beating conference rival Whittier, 9-7.

After three days of play, the Regals ended the tournament 3-3, but went 2-1 against SCIAC opponents, which is promising. The team is looking to build off this weekend and head into the Convergence Tournament and SCIAC play with a lot of confidence.

“The goal is always to go 10-0, win the entire (SCIAC) tournament, and go to the NCAA [tournament]. I’m looking forward to playing with this team more, seeing us progress and see what we can do this year. We are kind of the underdog and I believe we can win it,” said Tomasetti.


Matthew Bowman
Staff Writer
Published March 6, 2013