The University of Redlands women's water polo team hosted the Redlands Mini Tournament at the Thompson Aquatic Center on Wednesday, with No. 21 Cal State Northridge and No. 24 Cal Baptist University participating in the tri-match format. In the opener, CSUN held onto an early lead against CBU and secured the 16-14 win over the Lancers. The Bulldogs faced the Matadors in the second game and suffered an 8-16 defeat before falling to Cal Baptist in a 6-14 decision to complete the event.
Against Cal State Northridge, Redlands battled in the first quarter, with senior attacker Sami Walker (Taylorsville, UT) scoring the first goal of the game. Amidst multiple defensive stops on both ends, the Matadors finally gained a 2-1 lead by the end of the opening frame.
However, CSUN put together two six-goal quarters to create a comfortable lead over the Bulldogs.
Nonetheless, Redlands out-played the NCAA Division I foe in the third frame with a 4-2 scoring margin. First-year attacker Nicolette Ramirez (Whittier, CA) delivered a dime of a pass to senior center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI) to initiate the Bulldogs' strong performance at the 6:08-mark. After a CSUN goal, junior attacker Hunter Olivier (Indio, CA) uncorked a hat trick that started with a five-meter goal with 2:23 remaining in the third. Her final score came off an assist by senior utility player Breanna O'Dea (Rowland Heights, CA) with six seconds left on the clock.
Senior goalkeeper Kelly Grosswendt (Newbury Park, CA) provided a valiant effort in the loss by making 12 saves and nabbing five steals.
Against the Lancers, Redlands faced an early 1-4 deficit that proved to be the difference. Nonetheless, the Maroon and Gray battled back to make it 5-7 by the 1:50-mark of the second quarter with a huge offensive push. After O'Dea lobbed in a long-distance goal late in the first quarter, sophomore attacker Kelly Klish (Glenview, IL) scored twice while first-year attacker Holly Kvanvig (Beaverton, OR) and Olivier each found the back of the net.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, CBU responded with an 8-0 run to put this one out of reach for the home team.
Grosswendt tallied eight saves and two steals in a complete-game effort.
Earlier in the day, CSUN's Tori Wilson scored six goals and dished out three assists in the 16-14 win, while Cal Baptist's Lizette Perez notched four goals and two assists.
Redlands (0-2) hosts the Bulldog Invitational on Saturday, February 16, and Sunday, February 17, at the Thompson Aquatic Center. The Bulldogs take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in the tournament's first game at 12 noon on Saturday. For a complete schedule, please visit www.goredlands.com.