Water Polo Splits First Day of Indiana Classic
Courtesy: SportsPhotoGuy.com for VMI

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Looking to extend its perfect record, the VMI water polo team defeated Mercyhurst in the first match of the day but fell to No. 13 Hartwick Saturday at the Indiana Classic in Bloomington, Indiana.

VMI (6-1) topped Mercyhurst for the second time this season by an 8-2 score and later fell to a ranked Hartwick squad, 16-9, for its first loss of the 2018 season.

The Keydets built a gradual lead during the course of the match, gaining a 3-1 lead after the first period and a 5-2 advantage at the break. VMI would not surrender another goal in the second half and tacked on two more to finish with an 8-2 victory.

"I thought our defensive cohesion was excellent in the first game against Mercyhurst," said VMI head coach Ryan Pryor. "We really executed well when it came to our primary defensive principles."

Seniors Shelby Barkley and Sophia DelBondio and junior Sarah Dolitsky all scored two goals apiece in the victory while Haley Scott and Natalie Rivas both added one score. Sophomore goalie Isabel French registered 10 saves to preserve the victory.

No. 13 Hartwick 16, VMI 9

The Keydets struggled to keep up with the Hawks as Hartwick built a 5-2 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 10-4 advantage by the half. The Keydets stayed in striking distance down 13-8 at the end of the third but could not rally from behind as Hartwick claimed the 16-9 win.

Rivas led the way with three goals for the Keydets while Dolitsky added two more. Barkley, DelBondio, Scott and Emma Noble each added one score during the match.

"Against Hartwick, I was proud of the way we battled and I thought we played very well for stretches of the game against a very good opponent," Pryor said. "We'll take the good from that game and look to build on it heading into our two games tomorrow."

French was credited with six saves while taking her first loss of the season.

VMI will face host No. 10 Indiana tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. before taking on Cal Lutheran at 2:15 p.m. for the second day of the Indiana Classic.