The University of Redlands women's water polo team took down the Tigers of Occidental College, 8-3, on Senior Night at the Thompson Aquatic Center on Wednesday night. Prior to the game, the Bulldogs honored their seven seniors in a short pregame ceremony and then celebrated in the pool with a solid victory.
In a defensive-heavy first period, senior attacker Katelyn Jenkins (Bellevue, WA) connected with fellow senior attacker Wendy McAleer (Simi Valley, CA) for the opening goal of the game at the 6:47-mark. Redlands kept pressing on the defensive end, as senior utility player Breanna O'Dea (Rowland Heights, CA) provided a quality steal midway through the period. Neither squad scored until the final minute of the first when the Tigers broke through with a netter to even the tally at 1-1.
Despite a pair of consecutive steals from junior attacker Hunter Olivier (Indio, CA), Oxy took a 2-1 lead with 3:22 left in the second stanza.
However, sophomore defender Sarah Draves (Fallbrook, CA) found the back of the net for the Bulldogs' equalizer to send the teams into the break knotted at two.
Redlands came out of halftime on the attack to finish the game on a 6-1 run. The Bulldogs gained the go-ahead goal from senior defender Carmen Gardner (South San Francisco, CA) with 6:48 remaining on the third-quarter clock. Two minutes later, the Bulldogs capitalized on a power-play opportunity with a tally from Jenkins to take a 4-2 lead. The offense continued to flow as Olivier notched another goal for a 5-2 lead with 3:54 to go. The Maroon and Gray remained solid on the defensive end to close out the quarter with stops on three Oxy shot attempts, including senior goalkeeper Kelly Grosswendt's (Newbury Park, CA) save.
Early in the fourth, Jenkins scored her second goal of the game for Redlands' 6-2 advantage. Jenkins then fed senior center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI) in front of the net for a power-play goal to extend the lead to five with less than six minutes to go.
After McAleer nabbed a steal, first-year attacker Holly Kvanvig (Beaverton, OR) launched a powerful shot to the back of the net to make it 8-2 at the 4:17-mark. The Tigers snuck in one more goal with 51 seconds remaining, but the Bulldogs prevailed in an 8-3 victory.
Jenkins led the effort with two goals, three assists, and one steal. Senior attacker Sami Walker (Taylorsville, UT) made an impact on the defensive end with four steals, while Grosswendt finished with eight saves.
Redlands (13-15, 6-6 SCIAC) makes its final push for a postseason spot with two road games. The Bulldogs first travel to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Wednesday, April 17, for a 7 p.m. showdown.