CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The Pomona-Pitzer women's water polo team will open its 2016 season on Saturday when it travels to play against CSUN in the Cal Baptist Tournament beginning at 9:15 a.m.
The Sagehens ended their 2015 campaign after falling to Whittier in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships by the score of 7-6. Pomona-Pitzer had won three-straight SCIAC Championships before their loss to Whittier and has appeared in four-straight SCIAC Championships leading into the 2016 season.
The Sagehens lost a huge senior class and will rely on some talented underclassmen to fill the shoes of their graduated starters.
The lone senior on the team this season is Megan Snow. Snow has been a defensive standout for the Sagehens during her time at Pomona-Pitzer and also showed some offense last season as she scored 11 goals. The Sagehens will rely on Snow to lead the defensive unit this season.
Helping Snow on defensive will be junior Chessa Burke. Burke saw time last season on the Pomona-Pitzer defense and also tallied eight goals on the year.
Headlining the offense this year will be sophomore Morgan McCracken. McCracken earned SCIAC Newcomer of the Year and was named ACWPC Honorable Mention All-American as a freshman. She tallied 41 goals last season, which was second on the team. McCracken scored a season-high five goals twice last season in wins over Azusa Pacific and Redlands.
Helping the offense this year for the Sagehens will be juniors Christina Williamson and Hope Grant. Williamson and Grant both scored 22 goals a season ago. Williamson plays center for Pomona-Pitzer and came up big in the SCIAC Tournament last season as she posted hat tricks in the first two games of the tournament. Grant has been a utility player for Pomona-Pitzer and has the ability to play at several different spots in the lineup. Grant Had several two-goal games, including in an 11-9 win over Division I Bucknell and an 8-6 win at CMS which clinched the top seed in the SCIAC Tournament.
In goal this season will be junior Ahsha Earwood. Earwood earned First-Team All-SCIAC honors in 2015 as she ended the season tallying 160 saves in 22 games. Earwood posted a perfect 4-0 record at the Converence Tournament in 2015, including overtime wins over UC San Diego (9-8) and George Washington (7-5), when she didn't allow an overtime goal in either contest.
Pomona-Pitzer returns four sophomores that will see significant playing time this season. McCracken will look to have another big year on offense and the Sagehens will look to Erica Halaszynski, Jocelyn Castro and Morgan Stockham to provide some much needed depth to this Sagehen squad.
The Sagehens bring in a huge freshman class that includes nine new faces, many of which will see big minutes in their first collegiate season.
The Sagehens will start the season out on the road but will return home on Friday, March 4th to host the Convergence Tournament beginning at 2 p.m.