The University of Redlands women's water polo team traveled to Chapman University on Saturday for an important Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown against the Panthers. Amidst a tight battle, the Bulldogs rallied back to pull out an exciting 5-4 win.
After Chapman jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter, the Bulldogs cut the deficit in half when senior center Kolby Kahahawai (Kailua, HI) fired one into the back of the net at the 7:20-mark. The teams traded scores through the end of the frame, with first-year attacker Holly Kvanvig (Beaverton, OR) notching one for the Bulldogs.
Trailing 2-3 at the start of the third, Redlands continued to face an uphill battle but remained persistent in the endeavor. With key stops by senior goalkeeper Kelly Grosswendt (Newbury Park, CA), the Bulldogs made up the ground late in the third to eventually earn a 4-3 lead. Senior attacker Katelyn Jenkins (Bellevue, WA) tied it up with 2:06 remaining before senior utility player Breanna O'Dea (Rowland Heights, CA) notched the go-ahead goal on the team's final possession of the period.
However, Chapman evened the tally early in the fourth by taking advantage of a power-play.
With determination and heart, the Bulldogs kept battling on both ends of the pool. Jenkins' game-winning goal broke through with five minutes left in the game, which forced Redlands to step up its defensive efforts in the final push. Along with a huge steal, Grosswendt tallied her biggest saves of the game on Chapman's last two shots, including one on a power-play as time expired. She finished with four steals and 13 saves in a fine performance.
Redlands (12-15, 5-6 SCIAC) hosts Occidental College at the Thompson Aquatic Center in a conference tilt on Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m.