In her first season on the Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Water Polo team, Pitzer College student Namlhun Jachung ’24 has enjoyed individual and team victories alike. Jachung received the ACWPC National Player of the Year award and the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year award and was named tournament MVP when the water polo team won the USA Water Polo Division III National Championship. The Sagehens Women’s Water Polo team earned the triple crown in 2022 by winning the Division III National Championship, the SCIAC Tournament Championship, and the SCIAC Regular Season Championship.
Jachung credits the coaching staff and her teammates for paving the way to victory. Even before the season began, the seniors on the water polo team prioritized building morale and camaraderie, especially for the new athletes who had never played college-level water polo before.
“I can trust every single one of the girls and the coaching staff,” said Jachung. “It feels like a family.”
While attending Pitzer remotely during the 2020–21 academic year, Jachung maintained her connection to water polo by watching film of herself playing in high school and coaching her high school club team. Then Jachung hit the ground running—or perhaps more accurately, hit the pool swimming—as soon as she arrived on campus. When asked how she felt about receiving honors as the national player of the year, newcomer of the year, and tournament MVP, Jachung replied: “I wouldn’t be here without my teammates pushing me. I love water polo. I am so grateful to receive these awards, but I think way more about enjoying the sport and having fun with the girls I love more than any award.”
Jachung, a human biology major and English minor, is used to performing a balancing act in both her studies and her athletics. Because water polo is a spring sport, Jachung was able to have a regular college experience in the fall while making friends outside of water polo.
“In the spring, I’m used to knowing I’m an athlete first,” said Jachung. “The coaching staff and the professors are very understanding. Also, asking for help when you need it is important.”
Luckily for the Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Water Polo team, Jachung has another few years to play and to deepen the already strong relationships that she has formed with her teammates and coaches. She considers this team to be the best team that she has been on so far, and she is “excited for the next two years” to continue this journey with them.