Women's water polo doesn't make big enough splash

The Santa Monica College women's water polo team continued their strong start to a fresh 2010 campaign with a successful showing at the El Camino tournament this past Saturday. Hosted in Torrance, the squad hit the road and topped the home team El Camino Warriors 14-13 in a hard-fought opening match before falling to eventual tournament champion Rio Hondo Roadrunners, 13-11. The Corsairs finished third place overall with one win and one loss in the four-team tourney, which also featured second place finisher Los Angeles Valley College.

SMC held their own in the first round game against El Camino, outscoring the home squad in nearly every period as they advanced to the second round to face Rio Hondo and move one step closer to a possible championship title. Santa Monica's effort was indefatigable. The outcome seemed inevitable with Santa Monica making all the right plays and tactical moves. Multiple scores from five different players consisting of both starters and substitutes rounded out the balanced team effort.

Freshman sensation Jennifer Allison continued to shine during the tournament, scoring goals in each of the two contests. Those scores included three impressive strikes in a crucial fourth period for Santa Monica in the dogfight against El Camino, sealing the one-point victory for the Corsairs.

The Lady Corsairs played the first period tough with quality defense from the backline defenders and stunning scores from starters Amy Macias, Chloe Halley and Linda Pogezy. Initiating the second period with a 3-2 lead, the Corsairs rode their momentum to unleash an unrelenting attack. With additional scores from Halley, Pogezy and substitute Becky Telnag, the girls established a 6-4 lead at the halftime break.


A dramatic and strenuous third period saw both squads trade sensational strikes in a back and forth fashion. Both clubs were required to call for backup subs to keep pace with one another as they leveled at 3 goals apiece in the period. Substitute Sarah Siavson joined in on the offensive onslaught with a superb mid-range strike at the end of the period, extending the Corsairs' lead furthermore.


The fourth period was strewn with highlights from Allison, who seemed to morph into beast mode as she refused to be denied. She capitalized from short, middle and long ranges, scoring two in the final two minutes and adding a deflating long-range bomb that destroyed the confidence of the El Camino goaltender and her teammates. A late rally proved worthless for El Camino and the Corsairs secured the victory and claimed a 6-5 fourth quarter, securing the win.


In the following game, Rio Hondo played remarkable defense in the first two periods to take a commanding 9-6 lead at the halfway break. This would prove costly to the Corsairs as they never mounted a formidable attack to compress the deficit, partly due to the impressive defense of the Roadrunners.

Rio Hondo would eventually go on to beat LAVC in the final to claim the tournament championship.

The Lady Corsairs return home on Wednesday, Sept. 29 to take on Ventura in a crucial conference matchup.