Knights close WWPA postseason


The fifth-seeded Gannon University women’s water polo team closed its season with a pair of losses over the weekend in the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

The Knights (3-15) opened the tournament with a 14-5 loss to second-seed Sonoma State Friday. Freshman Alison Cooney scored two of the five goals for Gannon.

Junior Shanen Lazenby netted her lone tally of the game at the end of the third quarter. Freshmen Makayla Williams and Samantha McGregor both scored goals at the end of the fourth.

The Knights then earned fifth place Saturday in the tournament after losing, 9-3, to the third-seed Cal State Monterey Bay. Lazenby scored two goals, notching her 100th career goal in the process.

Freshman Liz Barr scored a goal in the opening half, and sophomore goalie Emily Rodriguez finished the game with 11 blocks.

“They were all teams we had never seen before,” Rodriguez said, “and despite the two losses, I think we played great games.

“We did all we could, but just couldn’t come out with the win this time.”

Rodriguez said that experienced returning players, coupled with a good example set by their captains this season, have given the team faith that their next season will be have a different outcome.

She said their captains – Lazenby, Rachell Bednarek and Janelle McDaniels – were great teammates as well as leaders, and set the bar high.

“They’re definitely playmakers during the games,” Rodriguez said. “They had great leadership in and out of the pool, and they brought the team together when we were going through such a tough season.”

Rodriguez said that despite the losses, the Knights are confident that they can get the hang of playing in their new division, moving from the CWPA to WWPA this year, and being better equipped to face these new teams next season.

“There were a lot of lessons learned this season,” she said. “We played a lot of great teams and it was a tough schedule, but no matter what we always have to keep our heads up.”


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