Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Women's Water Polo team faced off with another two Division I match-ups at the Lillian Slade Aquatic Center coming away with a split against No. 7 Uni. of Hawaii (22-7) and Siena College (12-2).
Game 1 (No. 7 Hawaii; L, 22-7)
The Purple & Gold were in for a touch match-up with the Uni. of Hawaii and their scholarship players Wednesday afternoon. Whittier's Zyania Morales (Commerce, Calif.) got the Poets on the scoreboard on their first possession with a goal in set that tied the game up at 1-1. But that's as close as Whittier would get as Hawaii would add the next five goals to move the score to 6-1. Morales stopped the run with her second of the game at the 1:05 mark but the Rainbow Warriors would add another to take a 7-2 lead after the first eight minutes.
In the second, Jenel Rivera (Whittier, Calif.) snuck one past the Hawaii keeper that cut the deficit to four but again Hawaii would go on a run adding the next five that gave them a 12-3 lead at the half.
Morales sparked the offense again in the third adding another couple goals that gave Whittier some momentum and was joined by Ana Alumbaugh (Honolulu, HI) who added her first of the game. In the fourth, Kendyl Riley (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Hannah Rodriguez (Riverside, Calif.) would add another two but it wouldn't be enough as Hawaii would cruise to the 22-7 victory.
Game 2 (Siena; W, 12-2)
Whittier had a much easier match-up in the second game with Siena. The Poets blanked the Saints 4-0 in the first with goals coming from Alumbaugh, Hannah Ellett (Merced, Calif.), and Riley. Siena finally got on the board with 5:23 to play in the half but Rivera, Lindsay Shoaff (Costa Mesa, Calif.), and Isabella Gorrocino (East Los Angeles, Calif.) would tack on another three that gave WC a 7-1 lead at the half.
The Purple & Gold continued to roll from there despite being held to just one goal in the third was able to play well defensively to limit the Saints to just one goal in the second half. In the fourth, the Poets would add insurance with four strikes coming from Riley, Alumbaugh, and Anastacia Gonzalez (Montebello, Calif.).
Whittier remains at home this Saturday, February 25 as they host Azusa Pacific (9:00am) and Uni. of Toronto (3:30pm).