Pacific's Women's Water Polo Upset Bid Of No. 8 Hawai'i Comes Up Just Short
Sophomore Taylor Adair set a new career high with five goals and junior Michele Relton broke the school record for single-season saves but No. 19 Pacific Women's Water Polo's upset bid of eighth-ranked Hawai'i fell just short, 12-11, Saturday in a Big West Conference match at Kjeldsen Pool.
Adair broke her previous career-best of four scores with a power-play goal late in the third quarter. She had a hat trick before halftime, and now has 16 goals in her last four games.
Arguably the best goalkeeper in school history, Relton finished the day with 15 saves, breaking the program record for single-season saves in the process. She set the record of 315 as a freshman, and has now racked up 316 blocks this year.
Juniors Malena Prlain and Elise Martin added a pair of scores for Pacific (16-11, 1-4 BWC).
The game was a back-and-forth affair in the early going as Hawai'i (15-9, 5-1 BWC) was unable to pull away from the Tigers throughout the opening 16 minutes. The game was tied at 3-3 after the first quarter and 5-5 at halftime as Pacific had an answer for each of the Wahine's goals in the first half.
Prlain gave the Tigers their first lead of the game two minutes into the third quarter, but it would be short-lived as the visitors tied the game at 6-6 on their next possession before regaining the lead with 3:25 on the clock. Adair would put Pacific back up by one, 8-7, on consecutive goals late in the frame, but the Wahine responded with two scores down the stretch to take a 9-8 lead into the final quarter.
Sophomore Brydie Pye knotted things at 9-9 on the Tigers' first possession of the fourth quarter as Pacific refused to let UH pull away. The visitors went back up by one, 10-9, with 5:28 on the clock before earning their largest lead of the day on a goal at the 3:13 mark. Pacific again pulled back to within one, this time from Martin with three minutes left, but Hawai'i answered one minute later to regain a two-goal advantage.
Pacific had two last-gasp chances rebuffed by the Wahine defense, the last of which came with 18 seconds on the clock as freshman Gracie Smith's shot from set was saved by UH's keeper. Prlain scored with one second left to result in the final margin.
Monika Eggens led Hawai'i with five goals while Emily Carr, Paula Chillida and Amarens Genee each added two goals apiece. Goalkeeper Amy Carlson blocked seven shots in four quarters of work.
The Tigers are back in action next Saturday, April 13, when they travel down to Southern California for a conference tilt at San Diego State. The match is set to begin at noon.
No. 8 Hawai'i 12, No. 19 Pacific 11
Hawai'i 3 - 2 - 4 - 3 -- 12
Pacific 3 - 2 - 3 - 3 -- 11
Pacific - Adair 5, Martin 2, Prlain 2, Pye, Smith
Hawai'i - Eggens 5, Carr 2, Chillida 2, Genee 2, Lewis
Pacific - Relton 15
Hawai'i - Carlson 7