Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
ORANGE, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Water Polo team needed a win Wednesday night and a Claremont-M-S loss in order to hold the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Regular Season Title by themselves.
The Purple & Gold picked up the road win over Chapman University 22-9, but waited anxiously as Pomona-Pitzer would hold off Claremont-M-S 10-9 in overtime. This loss would hand CMS their third on the season allowing Whittier to pick up their fourth SCIAC Regular Season Championship Title in program history (2004, 2013, 2014, 2019).
Whittier has now won six of their last seven and improve to 16-12, 12-1 SCIAC. With the lopsided win over Chapman University the Poets also clinch the No. 1 seed in the SCIAC Post Season Tournament. The last two times WC clinched the No. 1 seed in the Post Season Tournament was back in 2013 and 2014. Both years the Poets went on to win the SCIAC Tournament Title, earning a berth into the Division I National Championships.
The Poets complete the sweep over Chapman University on the season and outscored the Panthers 44-19 across both contests. Dominick Nevarez (Norwalk, Calif.) went off for the Purple & Gold on the night scoring three of Whittier's first seven goals in the 1st Quarter. He put WC on top 2-1 early and then added another with under a minute to play in the frame. Other scorers during the period included two coming from Carlos Heredia Viteri (Commerce, Calif.), and two strikes from Cornelis Kriek (Pretoria, South Africa) and Hans Zdolsek (Linkoping, Sweden).
Chapman couldn't get any footing in the 2nd Quarter getting outscored 4-1. Micah Kamai (Irvine, Calif.) got the scoring started in the frame with a goal inside set and was followed by Nevarez' fourth of the game, a 2-meter connection for Kriek and a 5-meter conversion for Enrico Antunes (Sao Paulo, Brazil). This moved the score to 11-3 at the break. In the second half the Poets continued to add to their lead outscoring CU 4-3 in the 3rd Quarter thanks to Kriek, Nevarez, Patrick Seelhorst (Whittier, Calif.), and Heredia Viteri. All three tallies for Chapman came with under two minutes to play in the frame.
The game was put out of reach in the 4th Quarter with the Poets tacking on another seven goals all coming within a five minute span. Ricardo Reyes Jr. (Commerce, Calif.) started things off and was followed by Heredia Viteri, Kyle Aguilar (Corona, Calif.), Kriek, Seelhorst, Maxwell Murphy (Orinda, Calif.), and Jesus Padilla (Commerce, Calif.).
Murat Ersoz (Istanbul, Turkey) played all 32:00 minutes and finished with eight stops between the posts.
Whittier outshot Chapman 28-20 on the night.
Whittier wraps up their 2019 regular season this Saturday, November 16 when they host Occidental College beginning at 11:00am.