CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team ended the 2018 regular season with a thrilling, 11-10 victory over Cal Lutheran last Saturday. The CMS vs. Cal Lutheran match-up will be replayed this Friday in the SCIAC Semifinals as the No. 3 Athenas head on the road to take on the No. 2 Regals at 4:00 p.m. The winner of the CMS-Cal Lutheran match will square off with the winner of the other SCIAC Semifinal, No. 4 Whittier at No. 1 Pomona-Pitzer, in the SCIAC Final on Sunday.
The Athenas and Regals split their first two meetings this season. As mentioned, CMS earned an 11-10 victory last weekend and Cal Lutheran picked-up an 8-4 win earlier in the year on Mar. 24 in Axelrood Pool.
See below for a snapshot of the teams in the tournament:
No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas – 18-9 Overall, 11-3 SCIAC
The Athenas enter the SCIAC Tournament winners of six of their last seven regular season games. CMS earned the three seed in the conference this season after an overall record of 18-9 and 11-3 in SCIAC play this season. Led by a trio of offensive threats, the Athenas are capable of scoring goals. Roxy Kiessling (CMC), Jessica Gaffney (CMC), and Aracelia Aldrete (CMC) each earned All-SCIAC honors on Tuesday and lead the scoring for the Athenas. Gaffney is the leading offensive threat with 53 goals, 18 assists, and 71 points on the season. Aldrete was second on CMS with 40 goals and 14 assists, but was also strong on the defensive end with 34 steals. As one of the top two-way players in the SCIAC, Kiessling was in the top-three for the Athenas in goals (35), assists (16), points (51), steals (42), and field blocks (3). Chandlyr Denaro (CMC) holds down the fort between the pipes. She's made 120 saves on the season and allows 7.87 goals per game.
Jessica Gaffney – Sr. – First Team
Roxy Kiessling – Sr. – First Team
Aracelia Aldrete – So. – Second Team
No. 2 Cal Lutheran Regals – 20-8 Overall, 12-2 SCIAC
The Cal Lutheran Regals own a 3-2 record against teams in the 2018 SCIAC Tournament, but hold the second seed after playing the undefeated Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens just once during the regular season. Cal Lutheran earned four All-SCIAC honors this season with Kristi McGee and Bailey Meyer leading the way with First Team honors. McGee and Second Team honoree, Nikki Roed led the offense with 35 goals each, both shooting above .350 on the year. Victoria Rose Meek added 31 goals of her own, while Christin Hirn contributed 29 and Megan Seeman 27. Defensively, Mackenzie Thomas tallied seven field blocks, followed closely behind with six each from Erin Cunefare, Seeman and Hirn. McGee and Roed also led the team in steals with 40 and 38, respectively.
Kristi McGee – Sr. – First Team
Bailey Meyer – Jr. – First Team
Victoria Rose Meek – So. – Second Team
Nikki Roed – Jr. – Second Team
When they met:
The Athenas and Regals split their two meetings this season, with the Athenas earning an 11-10 victory this past Saturday (Apr. 21). Cal Lutheran earned an 8-4 victory on Mar. 24 in Axelrood Pool. In the season finale against Cal Lutheran last week, Roxy Kiessling went crazy, scoring seven goals in the final three periods to lead the Athenas to the victory.
No. 1 Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens – 20-10 Overall, 14-0 SCIAC
Pomona-Pitzer takes to the pool in the SCIAC postseason having won nine straight games and 13 of its last 14. Pomona-Pitzer takes to the pool in the SCIAC postseason having won nine straight games and 13 of its last 14. SCIAC Athlete of the Year, Jocelyn Castro leads the Sagehens' offense with 62 points and 60 goals through the regular season. Castro has been a leader all season long for the Sagehens as one of the only two seniors on the team. Her supporting cast features three more All-SCIAC selections with Morgan McCracken, Kahea Kahaulelio, and Natalie Hill earning All-Conference honors. McCracken tallied 63 points this season with 46 goals and 17 assists while Kahaulelio led the team with 70 points this year with 48 goals and dished out 22 assists.
Jocelyn Castro – Sr. – First Team, SCIAC Athlete of the Year
Kahea Kahaulelio – Jr. – First Team
Morgan McCraken – Sr. – First Team
Natalie Hill – Jr. – First Team
When they met:
The Sagehens defeated the Athenas in both of their meetings by identical scores of 11-5 on Mar. 7 and Apr. 4. In the meeting on Mar. 7, Pomona-Pitzer jumped out to a 6-1 lead at the half and then tallied five goals in the fourth period to earn the six goal victory. The meeting in early April was might tighter in the early going with the two rivals tied 2-2 heading into the second-half. Nine second-half goals for the Sagehens gave them the 1-5 victory. Claire Baxter (CMC) was the leading scorer for the Athenas in the two meetings with four total goals. Jocelyn Castro scored seven times across the two meetings.
No. 4 Whittier Poets – 9-16 Overall, 7-7 SCIAC
The Whitter Poets locked up the fourth seed by finishing one game ahead of Chapman and Redlands at 7-7 in the SCIAC. The Poets are led by a pair of offensive threats that earned All-SCIAC honors in Anastacia Gonzalez and Lindsay Shoaff provided a dual threat on offense. They ranked ninth and tenth, respectively in the SCIAC Rankings in scoring. Gonzalez totaled 37 goals and six assists while Shoaff led the team in scoring with 39 goals and seven assists. Leimana Hassett played a dual role this season for Whittier, playing both as an attacker and a goalie late in the season.
Anastacia Gonzalez – Jr. – First Team
Lindsay Shoaff – Jr. – Second Team
When they met:
In their only meeting this season, the Athenas defeated the Poets 11-7 in Axelrood Pool on Mar. 28. CMS took a 5-3 lead into the half and cruised to the 11-7 victory. Jessica Gaffney led the CMS offense with five goals on five shots while Anna Fry (HMC) and Aracelia Aldrete also scored a pair of goals.
Please note: Portions of this article have been borrowed from thesciac.org, sagehens.com, wcpoets.com, and clusports.com. A special thank you to their Sports Information and Athletic Communications staff for the hard-work and dedication.