From the seniors’ last game in their home pool to lots of alumni coming back, sadness and excitement washed over the Sonoma State women’s water polo team this past weekend.
The Seawolves took on CSU East Bay, coming out with an 11-8 victory for their Senior Day on Friday and wrapped up the weekend with an alumni game on Saturday.
“The feelings were bittersweet,” said senior Alexa May. “Before the game I was nervous knowing I was going to be honored in front of everyone and a little bit of sadness came over me. I was also super pumped knowing it was my senior game and I just wanted to beat East Bay.”
With their last home game for the season being against the rival Pioneers, SSU geared up ready for a fight.
The Seawolves got the scoring started within two minutes of the match with a goal by senior Brittny Hummel.
Unfortunately within another minute, CSU East Bay was able to score two goals, taking the lead just three minutes into the game.
The Seawolves then answered back shortly with another goal by Hummel, tying the game at two apiece. From then on, Sonoma fought to stay in control, scoring eight more goals until the third period.
Being down by eight didn’t stop the Pioneers from rallying back and scoring six uninterrupted goals, two in the third period and four in the fourth.
CSU East Bay’s rally would end as Hummel added another goal with a minute and a half remaining. Hummel’s goal would be the last of the match, solidifying SSU’s win over the Pioneers.
“It was very exciting,” said Hummel. “East Bay is one of our biggest rivals and to beat them was the sweetest victory I could ask for, especially at my last home game.”
Junior Kaysie Lewis and seniors Lexi Morabito and Hummel all had five shot attempts but Hummel led the team with three goals. Senior Nicole Browning and Lewis each added two goals while Morabito and juniors Shannon Baer, Jessica Becker and Noelle Herrera completed SSU’s total of 11 points.
Senior goalkeeper Andrea Mallul played all 32 minutes of her final home game, adding 14 saves to her totals.
After an exceptional day for the Seawolves, the women were back in the pool for a fun day against the alumni.
Women from years back and their families all gathered at Rudloff Pool on Saturday to celebrate their previous win and previous players.
“In years prior, the alumni seemed to be more about messing around and finding any way possible to win,” said Browning, “including cheating and throwing in additional players. This year the alumni were serious and good. They gave us a run for our money and annihilated the stereotype of alumni being out of shape.”
The current players all agreed that the day was full of laughter and fun; highlighting the officiating by current coach Coralie Simmons, which led to the alumni coming out on top by a few points.
“Coralie was making some extremely questionable calls, most in favor of the alumni,” said Browning, “which just resulted in a number of comical remarks from the audience.”
Nevertheless, they all enjoyed the uplifted atmosphere and seeing girls that were once their teammates.
“I was excited to see Caitlin Risden and Laurel Stickland come back,” said Mallul. “I played with Caitlin last year so it was nice to be able to block a couple of her shots this year and see some of her and the girls go at it.”
The seniors of the team seemed to thoroughly enjoy their last weekend at home but are excited to finish up their season on the road.
The women are set to hit the road on Saturday for their last regular season match against UC Davis at 10:30 a.m. The Seawolves will then travel to Ohio to compete in the WWPA Championships on Apr. 24-26.