Sagehen Round Up for the Week of September 24, 2012

Claremont, CA (October 1, 2012) – This was a significant week in Sagehen Athletics: the Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams made important moves up the SCIAC standings, the Volleyball team used a dramatic comeback to improve its postseason chance and the Men’s Cross Country team put forth an impressive performance at its host invitational.

The biggest Pitzer performance may have come from an out-of-season sport, as the Men’s Tennis and Women’s Tennis teams had their big fall event this weekend with the ITA West Regionals at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Chris Wiechert ’14 had a spectacular weekend and was one set from winning the individual championship, but came up just short in a 6-2, 4-6, 5-7 defeat to Neel Kotrappa of CMS in 100-degree heat on Sunday. Wiechert breezed into the final with a 6-0, 6-0 quarterfinal win and a 6-3, 6-1 semifinal victory, at one point winning 18 games in a row. Max Sabel ’13 reached the quarterfinals in singles with a win over the No. 1 seed in the entire field (Warren Wood of CMS) and then reached the semifinals in doubles with Frankie Allinson PO ’13.

Men’s Soccer had a busy week with three home games, and came through with seven important points (two wins and a tie) to jump from seventh to second in the SCIAC standings in a span of five days. The week began with a 1-1 tie with then first-place Redlands on Monday, earned a solid 2-0 win over Occidental on Wednesday and capped off the week with a 4-0 win over Caltech on Saturday. Erik Munzer ’13 ventured forward from his center back position to score his first goal of the season against Caltech on Saturday and anchored a defense that allowed Occidental zero shots on goal in the entire 90 minutes.

The Women’s Soccer team also used a 4-1 win over Occidental and a 1-1 tie with Redlands to move into fourth place in the conference. Samantha Thompson ’15 netted her second goal of the season in the win over Occidental, giving the Sagehens an early 1-0 lead, while Sara Ach ’16 assisted on the lone goal of the game in the tie with Redlands on Saturday.

Volleyball appeared to be in trouble at home against Redlands on Friday night, falling behind 2-0, but came back for a dramatic 3-2 win. The Sagehens fought off a match point in the fourth game to win 26-24, and then rallied from an 11-8 deficit to win 17-15 in the decisive fifth.  Ellen Yamasaki ’15 had a double-double with 10 kills and 16 digs. The comeback was pivotal, as the Sagehens are now just one game out of fourth place in the SCIAC.

Men’s Cross Country had an exceptional performance at its host Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, finishing second out of 10 teams, behind only NAIA power CSU San Marcos (ranked No. 2  nationally in NAIA). The Sagehens had the 7-8-9 finishers (among attached runners), as Alex Johnson ’13 was tops on the team in seventh place with a 25:35.9.

Football faced a tough SCIAC opener, traveling to No. 8 Cal Lutheran, and battled but fell 38-10 to the nationally ranked Kingsmen. Matthew Tesimale ’16 had his first career interception in the game, and Luc Dark-Fleury ’16 had a big day on defense with five unassisted tackles, including one for a loss.

The Sagehens also held their annual Hall of Fame Dinner on Saturday night, with Pitzer swimmers Ben Komer ’02 (swimming) and Christen (Parker) Benke ’02 earning inductions in the first year they were eligible

This week will see the athletic department host another big event as the Men’s Water Polo team, which was idle this past week, hosts the Gary Troyer Tournament on Friday and Saturday (along with CMS and La Verne). The tournament was formerly called the Claremont Convergence, but was renamed in memory of former water polo coach Gary Troyer. The Sagehens face Cal Baptist and Harvard on Friday, and then meet Johns Hopkins and Fordham on Saturday, after opening SCIAC play with a home match against La Verne on Wednesday.

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