California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

Water polo loses in conference championship

Photo by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer

Photo by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer

Louis LaVenture,
Editor-in-Chief

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It must feel like Groundhog’s Day for the Cal State East Bay water polo team.

For the third consecutive year, the Pioneers made it to the Western Water Polo Association Conference championship game, only to lose all three times to the same team, the UC San Diego Tritons. This year, CSUEB defeated Gannon University 16-8, and Sonoma State 12-9 in overtime to advance to the championship game against the Tritons at Chabot College in Hayward.

Despite a closely contested match to start that saw CSUEB jump out to an early 2-0 lead, San Diego managed to come back and eventually put away the Pioneers, 9-5.

Last year CSUEB lost to the Tritons 10-8 in the WWPA conference championship, and two years ago, it was a similar fate at the hands of San Diego again, 16-3.

CSUEB senior utility player Sabrina Hatzer led the way for the Pioneers in what turned out to be her final game for East Bay. The senior finished the match with 3 goals, 2 exclusions, an assist and a steal. Fellow senior utility player Tori Dettloff also had a great game in her final swim for East Bay, as she tallied 2 goals and 3 exclusions.

The Pioneers had several chances to come back, especially when they trailed by less than 3 goals in the third period when two shots hit the crossbar nearly going in that could have cut the lead to 1.

This is the fourth consecutive WWPA Conference championship for San Diego, who will play. The Tritons were led by sophomore utility player Kayla Fedler, junior two-meter Lani Tittle and senior attacker Emma Sasson, who all scored 2 goals in the victory. UC San Diego will host Whittier College in a play-in game on May 10, at the Canyonview Aquatic Center on the UCSD campus.

This was the final game at CSUEB for Hatzer, Dettloff, Simonne Call, Casey Rushforth, Nayiri Kechichian and Jenn Lightbody. Fourteenth year Head Coach Lisa Cooper will have a full cupboard next season as the conference champion runner up will have 16 players returning next season.

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California State University East Bay
Water polo loses in conference championship