> 2017 SCIAC Men's Water Polo Tournament Central
The field for the 2017 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Men's Water Polo Tournament has been set. Postseason action is slated to begin Friday, Nov. 17 on the campuses of top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer and second-seeded Whittier.
Pomona-Pitzer (22-10) secured the top seed in the conference tournament after posting a 13-1 mark in SCIAC action during the 2017 season. In 2016, the Sagehens defeated Cal Lutheran, 21-12, and Redlands, 12-7 before besting CMS in the SCIAC Tournament final to earn the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championship. Pomona-Pitzer then fell to California, 16-6 in the first round of the national playoffs. The Sagehens will host the fourth-seeded Stags (14-14, 9-5 SCIAC) Friday evening at 7 p.m. in the tournament semifinals.
Whittier notched a 16-11 overall record and a 12-2 ledger in SCIAC action and earned the second seed in the SCIAC Tournament. The Poets will host third-seeded Chapman (14-13, 10-4 SCIAC) in Friday's other semifinal at 7 p.m. The winners with then meet in the SCIAC Tournament championship contest on Sunday, November 19 on the campus of the highest remaining seed.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD
Pomona-Pitzer enters the SCIAC postseason having won five straight games, including an 8-4 win over Chapman, and a 16-6 victory over Caltech on the final day of the regular season. Against the Panthers, Adam Ward and Jacob Niskey fired in two goals each, while Riley Mangan, Zach Senator, Dylan Eliott and Adam Gross scored one goal each. Daniel Diemer turned away nine shots in the winning effort to help seal the Sagehens' top seed in the tournament. Pomona-Pitzer's lone conference loss of the regular season came at the hands of Whittier on Sept. 20, as the Poets edged the Sagehens, 7-6 in overtime.
Whittier has won five of its last six games entering the 2017 SCIAC Tournament. After falling to Redlands, 10-8 on Nov. 4, the Poets defeated Chapman, 12-9 and Cal Lutheran, 11-10 in overtime to close out the regular season and secure the second seed in the tournament. Against the Kingsmen, Hans Zdolsek scored thre goals, including two in the overtime period to help Whittier clinch a tournament home game. Tim Aakhus also scored three goals, while Carlos Heredia Viteri found the back of the net four time to help seal the win over Cal Lutheran. Murat Ersoz made 14 saves in goal. Whittier's only other conference loss was a 10-9 setback to Pomona-Pitzer on Oct. 21.
Chapman takes to the water as the third seed and is 2-2 in its last four contests. The Panthers defeated Cal Lutheran, 8-7 (Nov. 1) and Caltech, 18-9 (Nov. 8), while falling to Whittier, 12-9 (Nov. 4) and Pomona-Pitzer, 8-4 (Nov. 11) during that stretch. Against the Poets, Brady Hoskins led Chapman with three goals, while Hayden Reider added a pair of scores. Cameron Genetti, Hunter Ramaekers, Jeff O'Brien, and Kevin Dayan added one goal each, while Wesley Hertel made 11 saves between the posts. The Panthers enter conference tournament play after posting a 10-4 mark against SCIAC competition during the regular season.
After losing four of its final five games in the month of October, CMS won its next four contests to close out the regular season and clinch the fourth seed in the SCIAC Tournament with a 9-5 record in SCIAC play. The Stags downed Occidental, 15-11, La Verne, 12-7, Redlands, 11-8, and Cal Lutheran, 10-5 to secure its playoff appearance against their Sixth Street rival Pomona-Pitzer. In the regular season finale against the Kingsmen, the Stags were led by Zack Rossman who fired in three goals, while Noah Deer and CJ Box scored two each. Robert Driscoll, Charlie Thomson and Barron Banta added a goal each to help seal the win. In goal, Ethan Lewis made 10 saves.