Redlands Women's Water Polo Suffers Two Losses in Opening Day of Bulldog Invitational

Photo credit: Nick Burchett
Photo credit: Nick Burchett

The University of Redlands women's water polo team hosted five games of the two-day Bulldog Invitational at the Thompson Aquatic Center on Saturday.  The Maroon and Gray opened the event with a 6-11 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges and then closed out the day with a 7-14 defeat to Concordia University – Irvine.

Against the CMS Athenas, Redlands gained a 2-1 lead by the 2:31-mark of the first quarter off of goals by senior attacker Sami Walker (Taylorsville, UT) and first-year attacker Holly Kvanvig (Beaverton, OR).  Senior center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI) and Walker provided the assists on these scores.

However, CMS answered with three consecutive goals to take a 4-2 advantage early in the second quarter.  After sophomore attacker Kayla Takakura's (Wailuku, HI) netter with 4:59 left in the frame, Redlands trailed by only one but the Athenas pulled away for the 11-6 final tally.

Kahahawai, sophomore center Alina Waldo (Portland, OR), and junior attacker Hunter Olivier (Indio, CA) each fired one past the CMS goalkeeper late in the game.

Later in the day, the Bulldogs struggled to find the back of the net for the first 12 minutes and never fully recovered against Concordia.  Trailing by eight, Redlands mustered back-to-back goals midway through the second quarter for a small spark of offense.  Senior utility player Breanna O'Dea (Rowland Heights, CA) found sophomore defender Sarah Draves (Fallbrook, CA) on a sweet combination before Kvanvig converted a five-meter penalty shot.  After the Eagles found the back of the net, the Bulldogs closed out the stanza with consecutive goals, with Walker and Olivier each providing one. 

The Maroon and Gray continued to push, as Kvanvig and Walker joined forces for consecutive goals late in the third quarter.  Kvanvig added to her strong outing with an assist on Olivier's final score.

Overall, Olivier stepped up defensively by tallying seven steals in a tenacious effort.

In other action, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges prevailed in impressive fashion with an 8-7 win over Concordia and an 11-9 triumph against Cal State East Bay.  Finally, CSUEB topped CMS in a 10-4 decision.

The Bulldog Invitational continues on Sunday, February 17, with Redlands facing Cal State East Bay at 9:30 a.m. and then the University of Toronto (CAN) at 3:30 p.m.  Between those contests, East Bay and Toronto face each other at 12 noon.