Women’s Water Polo (1-7 overall, 0-0 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s water polo team was back in action over the weekend, playing doubleheaders both Saturday and Sunday at the Cal Lutheran Invitational. The Tigers struggled offensively throughout their Saturday match-ups with the Long Beach State 49ers and Villanova Wildcats, with both teams sporting stout defenses that held the black and orange to just nine combined points. Despite its struggles, the squad distributed its scoring evenly. Five different Tigers netted goals, as Koral Gill (junior) led the way with four total. Defensively, goalkeeper Sophie Munoz (senior) saved a total of 13 shots, including a game-high six against the 49ers. Despite Munoz’s defensive prowess, the black and orange ended up dropping the match-ups 12-4 and 11-5, respectively. The Tigers’ offensive woes spilled over into Sunday, as the unit was again unable to break double digits in the scoring column. Occidental’s first match-up against Cal State Northridge proved to be its most difficult game of the weekend, as the Tigers were only able to muster two goals against the Matadors, surrendering the contest 17-2. The team then faced off against Cal State University East Bay in its final game of the weekend. The black and orange kept the score within three through the first two periods but could not match the offensive efficiency of Pioneers, falling 14-5. The team will attempt to overcome their offensive struggles at the Claremont Convergence Tournament this weekend, opening the event against George Washington University Friday at 10 a.m.
Jack Stabenfeldt (Men’s Water Polo No. 5)
Occidental men’s water polo star Jack Stabenfeldt (senior) has acted as the Tigers’ main utility player over his past four years. During Stabenfeldt’s swan song season, the St. Ignatius Prep (San Francisco, Calif.) alumnus posted 68 goals and a team-high 38 assists through 27 games. In honor of his productive season, Stabenfeldt was named to the Division-III American Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Association (ACWPCA) Honorable Mention All-American list. This marks the second time that the “Jack”-of-all trades has received an All-American accolade, previously getting the nod in 2012. Stabenfeldt has also been been named to multiple All-SCIAC teams and earned an All-Academic award in 2010. The senior leader also garnered respect and recognition from his teammates and coaches, as he was elected the team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the conclusion of last season. The four-year starter’s ability to put the ball in the back of the net catapulted him onto the top-20 all-time scoring list for the school’s men’s water polo program. Stabenfeldt tallied a total of 160 goals, 95 assists and 61 steals through 114 career games. While the senior’s accomplishments in the pool are noteworthy on their own, his accomplishments outside of the pool illustrate his well-roundedness. As an assistant coach, Stabenfeldt helped the Mayfield High School (Pasadena) girl’s water polo team make a quarterfinal appearance in the CIF-SS Championship Tournament this season. Stabenfeldt will graduate from Occidental this spring with a degree in economics.
Jessica Robson (Women’s Diving)
Occidental women’s diver Jessica Robson (senior) will cap off a storied career that includes seven SCIAC titles and a streak of 27 consecutive regular-season league victories at the NCAA Division-III Swimming and Diving Nationals. After winning her third consecutive conference championship on the 1-meter board and her fourth straight on the 3-meter board at last weekend’s SCIACs, Robson headed to Des Moines, Iowa for the NCAA West Regionals for the second straight year. Unlike 2013, Robson’s performance pushed her even deeper into the postseason, but not without last-chance qualifying drama. She failed to qualify for the 1-meter National Championships during Friday’s competition, but rebounded the following day, regaining her momentum in the 3-meter event. Robson put together 11 strong dives en route to a total score of 418.90, good for fourth place and the final Nationals qualifying spot. Robson earned the ticket to Nationals in come-from-behind fashion, trailing Emory University’s Kellen Hope (sophomore) for the first six rounds. She surpassed Hope in the following round and was then able to keep her lead throughout the final four rounds, securing her trip to the season’s culminating competition. Robson will join swimming teammates Caroline Chang (senior) and Steven van Deventer (junior) in Indianapolis, Ind., for the NCAA Championships on March 19-22.
Katie Park (Women’s Golf)
Occidental women’s golfer Katie Park (senior) won the inaugural SCIAC Women’s Golf Tournament Championship in 2012 and garnered First Team All-SCIAC honors. Now two seasons later, she hopes to build upon her success as the team’s leader and top competitor in her quest to vie for conference Player of the Year. “Since this is my last season, I want to give it all I have and hopefully win SCIACs again,” Park said. Due to her focus, determination and consistency, Park has set herself up to achieve her goals so far on the young campaign. At the Tigers’ first tournament of 2014 — the SCIAC Preview in La Verne, Calif. — Park shot an 11-over 82, finishing tied atop the individual leaderboard and guiding the black and orange to a second-place team finish. At SCIAC #1 in Fontana, Calif., a week later, Park shot scores of 11-over 83 and 7-over 79, combining with Kristin Oberiano’s (sophomore) 8-over 80 and 6-over 78 to lead the Tigers to a fifth-place finish. In the squad’s most recent event, the Cal State San Marcos Invite over the weekend, Park finished tied for 10th individually with Oberiano, helping lead the Tigers to a third-place finish behind NAIA No. 10 Victoria and NAIA No. 15 and host school Cal State San Marcos. She registered a 7-over 79 and a 10-over 82. Park and the women’s golf team return to action on March 16-18, traveling to the Cal Lutheran Invite at Sunset Hills Country Club.