Women’s polo finishes seventh in tournament

The Chapman women’s water polo team won two and lost two games in the SCIAC (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) tournament this weekend, finishing in seventh place out of nine teams.

Chapman (11-24, 4-8) lost 12 of its final 16 games to close of the season.

Chapman was eliminated from the winner bracket by second seeded Claremont (17-12, 9-1) in its first round game, 12-6.

“I am not happy with a seventh place finish in SCIAC, and my team shouldn’t be happy either because we know we are real close,” said head coach Eric Ploessel. “We lost four conference games by one this season. Those games could have gone either way and now we’re in the top four where we should be.”

In the opening round game against Claremont, Chapman saw the game slip away in the second half.

“We had a great first half. But it came down to us not executing and turning the ball over way too much in the second half,” said junior attacker Emily Holmquist. “They scored off of our mistakes, our mistakes being bad passes and taking low percentage shots.”

Sophomore driver Kate Staskus and freshman offensive two-meter defender Emiko Mizusawa each scored two goals for Chapman in the loss.

“We had a lot of energy offensively and defensively in the first half and we shut down their best players,” Staskus said. “But we made some crucial turnovers in the second half that were game changers.”

Losing to Claremont put the Panthers in the consolation bracket, where they played three additional games to close out the season. Chapman won two-of-three, beating Cal Tech 11-2, before losing to Occidental 8-7 and closing out the season with a 16-7 victory over La Verne to clinch the seventh place spot.

Chapman’s lone defeat in the final three consolation games came at the hands of Occidental. The Panthers led 6-5 going in to the fourth quarter, but were not able to hang on, losing 8-7.

“You can’t have bad quarters in this conference. You need to out together four quarters to win this conference,” Ploessel said. “We have shown that we can compete with anyone in this conference but it needs to be for four quarters.”

Junior utility Riley Ford scored six goals in the final three games to finish with a team high 46.

The Panthers are only losing one senior, driver Allison Harf. Harf scored five goals and added 11 assists on the season.

“We return most of our team next year so we should be set up next year for a good run. We really need to work hard this offseason to get in better shape for next season,” Ploessel said.

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