Sagehen Round Up for the Week of November 7, 2011

Claremont, Calif (November 14, 2011) — Pitzer athletes had a huge role in leading the Sagehen Men’s Water Polo team to a SCIAC Championship this weekend.

Stephen Vint ’15 started off the weekend by scoring a season-high five goals in a quarterfinal win over Whittier. Jason Cox ’13 then followed with a five-goal performance of his own in a narrow 11-9 win over Redlands in the semifinals. In the championship game, Cox, who has been the team’s offensive leader all season, came up with the defensive play of the year, as he stole the ball from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with 1:11 to go and Pitzer-Pomona ahead 5-4. Cox also drew a foul on the play which resulted in a man-up situation and an insurance goal from Ryan Higgins PO ’14 with 48 seconds left to seal the win.

Jarrod Gaut ’14 also had a big role in the championship game as he returned from a shoulder injury at less than 100 percent and scored a momentum-changing goal in the final seconds of the first quarter to give the Sagehens a 3-2 lead. Gaut then played the entire fourth quarter to lead a defensive effort that allowed no goals as the Sagehens turned a 4-4 tie after three quarters into a 7-4 victory. Pitzer-Pomona will be back in action this weekend at the Western Water Polo Association championships in San Diego.

Alex Johnson ’13 was the top finisher for the Pitzer-Pomona Men’s Cross Country team at the NCAA Division III West Region Championships this weekend, coming in eighth place with a time of 25:41. He earned All-Region honors for his performance and now moves on to compete in the NCAA Division III National Championships this weekend in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The Men’s Basketball team gave Division I Pepperdine all it could handle before dropping a 59-50 decision in its season opener in Malibu on Saturday. Po Grant ’13 had 11 points, including three three-pointers, to help the Sagehens nearly pull off the upset. Pitzer-Pomona led by as many as six points in the first half, and led by two with 7:30 to play (36-34), before Pepperdine went on a 9-0 run to take the lead for good. The Sagehens will have its home opener this weekend, as St. Thomas visits for a 5 p.m. game at the Rains Center on Saturday.

The Football team closed out its 2012 season with a hard-fought 24-14 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the Peace Pipe Game. Zack Tannous ’12 carried the ball nine times for 27 yards in his final game with the Sagehens, while Tim Stapenhorst ’12 finished his career as part of an offensive line that blocked for three record-breaking offensive players (Jake Caron ’11, R.J. Maki PO’10, Luke Sweeney PO ’13) in the last two years. This season, the Stapenhorst-led offensive line allowed only 13 sacks in nine games (286 total passing plays).

In some postseason honors from the fall, Traci Lopez ’12 was named first-team All-SCIAC for the Pitzer-Pomona Women’s Soccer team, while classmate Rachel Ecklerin ’12 was named to the second team. Ellen Yamasaki ’15 earned All-SCIAC second team honors for the volleyball team.

The Women’s Basketball team will open its 2011-12 season this week with a pair of home games. The Sagehens face San Diego Christian on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Rains Center, and then meet Pacific on Friday night at 7 p.m. Two Pitzer athletes will join the squad this year after competing for other Sagehen teams as freshmen last year – Alex Oxborough-Yankus ’14, a member of the Women’s Track and Field team and Erin Edmonds ’14, who scored four goals for the Women’s Soccer team this fall. They join leading returning scorer Emi Hashizume ’14, as well as Natasha Simpson ’14 and Vanessa Tam ’14, to give the Women’s Basketball team five Pitzer athletes in the same class.

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About Sagehen Athletics

Pitzer College joins with Pomona College to field 21 varsity teams – The Sagehens – that compete in Division III NCAA athletics and as members of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). There are 10 men’s and 11 women’s teams: baseball (men), basketball, cross country, football (men), golf, lacrosse (women), soccer, softball (women), swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball (women) and water polo.

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