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Isabel Del Villar had a season-high five goals
Isabel Del Villar had a season-high five goals

CMS Women's Water Polo Advances Through to National Championship Game

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's water polo team scored on 11 of its 12 second quarter possessions to break the game open on its way to a 23-9 win over Augustana in the semifinals of the USA Water Polo Division III Championship on Saturday at Haldeman Pool.

With the win, CMS improves to 20-10 overall on the season and advances to meet host Pomona-Pitzer tomorrow at 12 noon, one week after the Sagehens edged the Athenas 11-10 in the SCIAC Championship. The two teams also met last year in the USA Water Polo Division III Championship game, which Pomona-Pitzer won in overtime 14-13. 

Isabel Del Villar led CMS with five goals and three assists for eight points, while Mia Adsen and Dara Schoolcraft each had had four goals and two assists.

CMS led 5-1 after the first quarter, but ended up taking a 16-4 lead into the break after scoring 11 goals in eight minutes. The Athenas scored on 10 possessions in a row before finally coming up empty for the first time, then tacked on one more before the break. 

Adsen got CMS off to a quick start with three goals in the first quarter to stake CMS to a 5-0 lead, with Valerie Wraith and Elise Power also adding goals. Del Villar had four of her goals in the second quarter barrage, while Grace Clark and Schoolcraft each had two. 

Caitlin Muñoz paced the defense with four steals, while Adsen had three. Wraith had three goals and two assists, Cooper McKenna and Clark each finished with two goals and two assists, and Mason Spencer got the win in goal after recording three saves and two steals in the first half.

CMS will try to turn the tide against Pomona-Pitzer in the championship game, after three of the last four Sagehen wins have been by just a single goal, including two in overtime.