Claremont, Calif. (May 13, 2013) – This week in Sagehens Athletics was all about the NCAA Championships, with Women’s Tennis and Women’s Water Polo showing impressive heart with some thrilling comebacks, and Baseball getting the good post-season news.
Women’s Water Polo ended its 2013 season on the highest of notes, rallying from a 12-8 deficit in the final 4:30 of regulation to capture a 13-12 win over 20th-ranked Iona in the seventh-place match on Sunday at Harvard’s Blodgett Pool. Katya Schaefer ’16 led the way for the Sagehens with five goals and had the game-winning assist on a buzzer-beating goal from Sallie Walecka PO ’15 to complete the comeback, while Alyssa Woodward ’15 had two straight goals in the run to tie the score.
Schaefer started the 5-0 run with her fifth goal of the game with 4:23 to play. After the Sagehens scored on their next possession to pull within 12-10, Woodward struck twice in a row, the first time in front of the goal on a rebound, and the second time from five meters out on a 6-on-5 to tie the score with 46 seconds left. After the Sagehens earned a steal, the team killed the clock and Schaefer passed the ball to Walecka at the top for the game-winning goal as the horn sounded.
The Sagehens opened the tournament against No. 1 and eventual champion USC and Schaefer scored on the first possession to give the Sagehens a short-lived 1-0 lead. USC’s speed and strength was overwhelming, though, as the Trojans didn’t allow the Sagehens to get anywhere near their goal the rest of the way, cruising to the opening-round win. The Sagehens played a much more competitive game in the second round against No. 12 San Diego in the consolation round, falling 15-8, as Woodward had three goals and three assists.
Women’s Tennis also had some comebacks of its own against nationally ranked teams. The Sagehens Women’s Tennis team trailed 2-1 after doubles in the NCAA Regional finals against No. 11 Redlands but rallied for a 5-2 win. The clinching point came from Jamie Solomon ’13, who was down 4-0 in the first set at No. 1, but came all the way back for a 6-4 win and then won 6-4, 6-4 to end the match and give the Sagehens a 5-2 win.
Solomon and Mae Coyiuto PO ’16 were part of another big comeback in the NCAA Regional finals against undefeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, as they came back from a 7-4 deficit to take a 9-7 win at No. 2 doubles to give the Sagehens a 2-1 lead going into singles. Solomon and Coyiuto only played doubles together once all year, but Coyiuto was called into duty to fill in for an injured teammate and responded with a big comeback.
Another Sagehens team also gets to continue its season, as Baseball earned its first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championships, and will open against Texas-Tyler on Wednesday at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) at Concordia University in Austin, Texas. The Sagehens will be the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Regional, which also includes Cal Lutheran from the SCIAC (the No. 2 seed) and top-ranked Linfield, which the Sagehens faced three times at Alumni Field in April. The Sagehen Baseball team will be making its first NCAA appearance since 2010, when it also opened with Texas-Tyler winning 12-6. For all the details about the NCAA Championships, click the following link on Concordia’s website: Tournament Home Page.