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CMS is the No. 4 seed in the SCIAC Tournament (photo by Keilee Bessho)
CMS is the No. 4 seed in the SCIAC Tournament (photo by Keilee Bessho)

CMS Men's Water Polo Opens Postseason at Axelrood Wednesday Night

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's water polo team hosts Redlands in an opening-round game of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament on Wednesday night at Axelrood Pool.

Tickets for SCIAC Tournament events are $10 at the gate, $8 in advance through TicketLeap, and free with any SCIAC ID (or for children under 12). 

CMS is the No. 4 seed in the SCIAC Tournament after finishing with a 6-4 record, and will take on No. 5 Redlands, which finished 5-6, but was the only team to defeat No. 1 seed Pomona-Pitzer during the regular season. The other opening round matchup will see No. 6 Chapman traveling to No. 3 Cal Lutheran. 

The tournament will be re-seeded after the opening round, with the lowest seed of the two winners moving on to face No. 1 Pomona-Pitzer in the semifinals on Friday, while the higher seed will head to No. 2 Occidental. If things hold true to seed, CMS would be at Pomona-Pitzer on Friday night for the semis, but the Stags would need to defend their home pool and have Cal Lutheran win its home game. If CMS wins, and Chapman upsets Cal Lutheran, then the Stags would be at Occidental on Friday. 

CMS and Redlands met twice this year, once in a non-conference game at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational, and once in a SCIAC contest at Redlands. In the first meeting, CMS came away with an 11-7 win behind four goals from Thomas Walker and three from Gavin Rosser. In the rematch, four Stags had two goals apiece and Aidan Nettekoven had 19 saves in an 11-10 win.  Luke (Bear Weigle) essentially sealed the game with a goal with 16 seconds to make it 11-9, before Redlands got one back with five seconds left. 

In addition to the conference crown, bids to the USA Water Polo Division III Tournament are also at stake this weekend, with the two finalists earning the two bids to attend nationals in Baltimore this year (hosted by Johns Hopkins). CMS has earned bids in both years of the tournament's existence, defeating Pomona-Pitzer in the SCIAC Semifinals in 2019, and then winning at Cal Lutheran in the semis last year. In order to make it again this year, they'll need two straight wins, beginning with Redlands tonight, while three straight wins would earn the SCIAC Tournament title.