Women’s water polo team ends losing streak, wins two consecutive games

Claudia Melendez, Reporter

After losing three consecutive games, California Lutheran University’s Regals water polo team defeated the Whittier Poets with a score of 12-6 on Wednesday, March 22. The victory improved the team’s conference record to 3-2. 

“I think positivity was a really big aspect of today’s game because there was a time when the score got really close, but luckily we got pulled away and came out on top,” junior attacker Megan Findlay said. 

Senior attacker Alexa Modry said that the location of the game was going to be moved to a local high school as the pool’s heaters were malfunctioning. However, they were fixed in time for the game. 

On top of the uncertainty behind where the game was going to be played, the Regals were unable to practice the day before the game due to the weather. Despite the setbacks, they were able to start off lively against Whittier, scoring three goals in the first quarter. The visitors responded in the second quarter, scoring three goals to cut the deficit by one at the halfway point. 

 “Our first quarter started out really good and then we kind of lost it in the second quarter,” first-year utility player Tori Portillo said.

The Regals stormed back in the third quarter, scoring four goals and letting in one to restore a 9-5 lead.  

“We kind of let up a little bit. We let them come back, but then towards the third quarter, we came back. I think it’s important to regroup after a hard quarter like that to win or succeed in that game,” Portillo said.

Cal Lutheran carried their momentum into the fourth quarter, scoring three more to round off a 12-6 victory that ended the team’s three-game losing streak. After the Poets’ second-quarter resurgence that brought the score closer to 5-4, the Regals finished the final two quarters of the game with a combined score of 7-2. 

“Our energy in the first quarter and in the fourth quarter was really what brought the momentum back for us,” sophomore goalkeeper Vianne Will said.

According to CLUSports.com, junior two-meter offensive player Katie Knight led the Regals with five goals. Junior attacker Jacsen Donohue and graduate two-meter defender Kaitlin Gardhouse each had two goals.

Both Will and Portillo said that it’s the team’s motto to finish the game with the same intensity they came in with.

Junior goalkeeper Izzy De Souza made 15 saves during the game, which CLUSports.com described as “massive.” 

The majority of the Regals were substituted out in the last minute of the game, which Will said was a move that aimed to give everyone playing time and experience. 

Moving forward, the Regals are confident about their chances, particularly if they maintain the positive energy they said they showed against Whittier. 

“No matter where we are now as a team, if we continue that positive energy and that drive that we have we’ll be able to be unstoppable,” Findlay said. 

The Regals built on their win against Whitter with a second victory in a row against Caltech on Saturday, March 25, winning with a score of 13–8. This puts Cal Lutheran in third place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings.

The next game at home for the Regals water polo team is against Pomona-Pitzer on Wednesday, March 29, at 4 p.m.