Water polo wins five straight to break losing streak

Senior Jake Gross shoots against Washington & Jefferson College. The Panthers overpowered the Presidents in the first half, but as the game advanced, the Presidents picked up the pace and scored four points in the final quarter. The Panthers won 8-7.

Senior Jake Gross shoots against Washington & Jefferson College. The Panthers overpowered the Presidents in the first half, but as the game advanced, the Presidents picked up the pace and scored four points in the final quarter. The Panthers won 8-7.

Chapman’s water polo team ended a seven-game losing streak with five straight wins, including the defeat of two Division I teams, this weekend at the Gary Troyer Tournament in Claremont, California.

The team defeated Johns Hopkins (6-6) 11-6, Iona (2-11) 17-13, Fordham (10-8) 10-6 and Gannon (2-5) 17-12 at the tournament, and beat Washington & Jefferson (8-9) 13-10 in a regular non-conference game.

“I don’t think it has necessarily been a change in mindset,” said junior utility player Willis Allen. “I would say it is more the team stepping into their respective roles and not taking a loss as an answer.”

To kick off the weekend, the Panthers played Johns Hopkins, the top-ranked team in Division III. Chapman got up early against Johns Hopkins in the first quarter, ending that quarter with a 2-1 lead. 

Chapman’s lead grew in the third quarter with six more goals, bringing the score up to 9-4. Each team then scored two goals in the fourth quarter bringing the final score to an 11-6 Chapman victory.

Chapman’s first triumph over a Division I team came against Iona, after falling behind with four minutes remaining in the first quarter. Chapman managed to come back and take the lead during the second quarter. Afterwards, Iona managed to tie the score twice, but never managed to retake the lead.

The Panthers beat Division I Fordham 10-6 to start off the second day of the tournament.

Chapman trailed Division II Gannon University 5-3 at the end of the first quarter, but outscored Gannon 7-4 in the second quarter and took a 10-9 lead into the break. Chapman held the lead for the rest of the match and ended up winning 17-12.

After leading Washington & Jefferson College 10-1 at halftime, Chapman struggled to maintain the lead and gave up seven unanswered goals in the fourth quarter, but still managed to win 13-10. 

“This weekend is always fun because it’s all of the East Coast teams, and it’s like making a statement for California water polo,” said freshman driver Justin Moh.

Senior driver Mark Alvarado made an impressive contribution to the match against Iona, scoring six goals, which was a career high for Alvarado. Alvarado leads the Panthers in goals, with 21, in the 10 games they have played. Senior utility player Jake Gross follows with 13 goals.

The Panthers take on Golden West (12-1) Saturday, Oct. 11 at 9:00 a.m. and Concordia (6-7) at 4:00 p.m. at home as a part of Homecoming Weekend.

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