PASADENA, Calif. - Thursday marked a monumental day for Caltech Athletics with the annual Men's Water Polo and Women's Volleyball Challenge. The contest setup calls for the two teams to face off against one another in their own comfort zones ... first in the water, next on the court.
The fierce competition began in Alumni Pool and it didn't look good as the women struggled to comprehend how to put on their water polo caps. Once in the water, the men quickly dominated the start of the match as they scored three unanswered goals ... left-handed. As the game continued, the courtmasters figured out how to navigate the waters, finally gained momentum and scored their first goal to make it 3-1.
Next, both teams grabbed noodle floaties and the women produced another score with quick passing. Now a 1-point game, the men started to get serious and a ferocious battle began throughout the entire pool. Each squad managed two more scores, and the men maintained a 5-4 advantage.
With just minutes left, the men fired a ball past the women's goalie and scored; however, the conversion was called back by official Josh Moser. The volleyball team recognized the water polo team's shellshock and advanced the ball with phenomenal teamwork and ... tied the game, forcing a tie and a final score of 5-5.
The challenge moved into Braun Gym where the fatigued and stunned water polo men were to compete against the beautiful and well-conditioned volleyball women in a match scheduled to go best two-of-three. The ladies had complete control the entire first game and won with a blistering score of 25-9.
The men on the court buckled down in game 2 with some invigorating cheers and motivated their teammates to take an early lead. With some support of the men on the sidelines shooting baskets, the active players pushed onward. They were able to fluster the women into a collision that forced the libero's hair to become caught on the outside hitter's shirt button. The men realized they had a chance of beating the volleyball team and momentum quickly shifted in their favor. One men's player fully charged and ran off the court trying to save a tight set by somersaulting down and practically tackling official Jodi Lindsay. After a long fought battle, the women rallied back, took control, and won the set and the match.
It proved to be an entertaining day with high athletic competition. Not to mention, an ab workout for all spectators ... Final tallies: women's volleyball, 1-0-1; men's water polo, 0-1-1.