Women’s water polo wins two games in California Baptist mini tournament

Biola notches two victories and takes two losses.


Courtesy of Biola Athletics

Sophomore attacker Veralie Naranjo raises the ball in the air while evading a defender.

Charlotte McKinley, Freelance Writer

Biola University made a decent showing at the mini tournament hosted by California Baptist University from Jan. 27–28. On the first day, the Eagles beat the University of Redlands 10-7 but lost to the University of Southern California 6-20 later that afternoon. The next day, Biola defeated Azusa Pacific University in a 10-9 buzzer-beater but could not keep the momentum and lost to the University of the Pacific 6-12.


Both teams got off to a slow start but showed good defense in the first quarter. Sophomore attacker Veralie Naranjo scored the first goal with 4:54 left on the clock and junior attacker Kourtney Pyle followed up with another goal just a minute later. Feeling threatened, Redlands scored on Biola just a minute later. After a back-and-forth, the Bulldogs scored on the Eagles, ending the quarter 2-2.

During the second quarter, Biola shut down all of Redlands’ attempts to score. Redshirt junior utility Rachel Spadt scored two goals within 24 seconds. Junior utility Maria Roldan Gonzalez scored a third goal for Biola with sophomore utility Lizzy Birch made the last goal, bringing the quarter to an end with a 6-2 score.

Coming back with a vengeance, the Bulldogs shut out the Eagles during the third quarter, tying up the score 6-6. The Bulldogs scored their last goal of the game 30 seconds into the final quarter; then Spadt came through with two more goals. Gonzalez and redshirt sophomore utility Kaycie Bradshaw scored the final two goals, securing the win.

Women’s water polo came out on top with a score of 10-7.


The Eagles stood no chance against the Trojans and it showed in the first quarter. Forty-five seconds into the first quarter, the Trojans scored their first goal and went on to score four more goals before the second quarter began. 

Desperately needing to score, Pyle took her chance and made the first goal against USC. They retaliated and quickly scored three more goals before Pyle could score again. USC scored again before Birch netted the final goal of the quarter bringing the total to 3-10.

The third quarter was much the same. Spadt scored Biola’s first goal of the quarter. After the Trojans scored four more goals, Pyle snuck one more goal in with 16 seconds remaining on the clock, bringing the score up to 5-16.

Without much hope remaining, the Eagles tried their best, but ultimately were no match for the Trojans. USC accumulated three more goals before Gonzalez managed to score Biola’s only point of the quarter. USC scored the last goal of the game with just under two minutes on the clock.

Women’s water polo was soundly defeated with a score of 6-20.


Set up against Biola’s archrival, the stakes were high — especially when APU scored the first goal of the game. Spadt quickly tied up the game, but the Cougars managed to block all other attempts from Biola to score. With less than a minute in the quarter, APU scored the last goal, bringing the score to 1-2.

The second quarter was the most active of the four with the Eagles eager to jump ahead. Pyle scored the first goal 30 seconds in. Birch quickly followed up with another goal and seconds later, Naranjo scored again. The Cougars scored three goals in a row before Birch nailed another goal with 17 seconds left, tying up the score 5-5.

Gonzalez brought Biola out of the tie less than a minute into the third quarter. APU struggled against Biola’s defense but eventually got two goals in. Pyle tied it up once more with another goal. Less than a minute left in the quarter, the Cougars pulled ahead for a 7-8 score.

Not many goals were made at the beginning of the quarter. Pyle, the star of the game, tied it up once more. Spadt followed up, pulling Biola ahead of APU. Eager to win, the Cougars scored another goal, tying up the game. The tensions were high as both teams battled to see who would come out on top. With one second left, Gonzalez scored the winning goal of the game.

In a breathtaking buzzer-beater, women’s water polo earned the last minute victory with a 10-9 score.


After riding a high from beating APU, Biola’s next task was to defeat University of the Pacific. Once the ladies got into the water, it was obvious the battle would be tough. The Tigers scored the first three goals in quick succession. Pyle scored the last goal of the first quarter with just over a minute left, bringing the score to 1-3.

Continuing strong, the Tigers scored the next two goals after some brief difficulty from Biola’s defense. Birch finessed a shot past the Tiger’s goalie and scored the Eagles’ second point of the game. After one more goal from the Tigers, Gonzalez made another goal. Two seconds left in the quarter, the Tigers managed to evade the Eagles’ goalie, bringing the score to 7-3.

Gonzalez made the first goal of the third quarter, but the Tigers were on top of their game. They defended their net ferociously and attacked relentlessly, scoring three goals and bringing the game to a 10-4 score.

Naranjo scored the first goal of the last quarter before the Tigers made two more goals. Sophomore attacker Christina Cervantes was the last person to score in the game, bringing Biola up to six points. The Eagles were unable to replicate the energy from the last game and lost 6-12.

Women’s water polo (3-6) will face off in the Fresno State Mini Tournament in Fresno, California from Feb 17–18. Footage and stats from the game are located on the Biola Athletics website.

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