Temporary Head Coach Michael Ashe off to a perfect start with Regals water polo


Photo by Isabella Veljacic - Reporter

The Regals are one of four teams in the SCIAC who have started their seasons with a 2-0 record.

Isabella Veljacic, Reporter

California Lutheran University Regals water polo extended their winning streak to four games with a 6-3 win against the University of Redlands on Wednesday, March 8 in their first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game. 

The game marked the Regals’ first conference game with new Temporary Head Coach Michael Ashe, who said that everything is starting to come together with the team’s first SCIAC win.  

“My whole goal of being here is to provide them with the best possible season that they can have this year. The ultimate goal obviously is to win SCIAC and nationals,” Ashe said.  

Ashe was previously the head coach for Claremont McKenna College in 2001, a SCIAC school the Regals will face on Wednesday, March 15 and Wednesday, April 1.

“I really wish we could sneak up on teams, it was kind of nice hiding over here and nobody knew I was back in town, but the first thing the Redlands guy said to me was ‘welcome back to SCIAC’ so there’s no more hiding now,” Ashe said. 

Cal Lutheran started strong, getting their first goal within the first two minutes of the game by way of graduate attacker Kemi Dijkstra. Dijkstra would go on to score the Regals’ second goal in the final three seconds of the first quarter to secure a 2-1 lead after the opening period of play.  

First-year utility player Tori Portillo said that with a new temporary head coach, communication amongst the team is going to be very important in their success going forward.

“It definitely has been a shift in how we play, but it has been a positive change for us and I think going into SCIAC with him is a good thing,” Portillo said.

The Regals were dominant throughout as they held a lead in all but the second quarter of the game. In the third quarter, junior attacker Jacsen Donohue scored the only goal of the quarter with 14 seconds left to put the Regals up 3-2.  

Cal Lutheran finished the final quarter with three different Regals scoring and junior Katie Knight scoring a buzzer-beater goal, pushing the Regals to their 6-3 victory. 

“That end right there, I threw some stuff at them that we have not even practiced before, but their water polo IQ is so high and when I threw it at them they executed and we ended up getting that final goal at the end,” Ashe said.

Fifth-year Kaitlin Gardhouse said the SCIAC conference has been tough in all her five years playing for the Regals water polo team and all teams have great players and a great coaching staff. 

“This conference is really tough, we’re having a lot of DIII teams beating DI teams and a lot of people don’t expect that to come from a Division III conference,” Portillo said.  

According to CLUsports.com, the Regals have played five games against National Collegiate Athletic Conference Division I teams this season, winning one against Iona University with a score of 11-7.

Going into each game we have a game plan, and I think our main goal is just to execute. And if we can execute what we have worked on offensively and defensively we will get the outcome we want,” Gardhouse said.

The Regals got the outcome they wanted once more on Saturday, March 11 as they won against Occidental with a score of 8-3 to maintain their perfect start to the conference. 

The Regals’ next home game will be against the Whitter College Poets on Wednesday, March 22, at 4 p.m.