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CLAREMONT, Calif. — After surrendering a comeback in a 19-17 loss to Division III No. 9-ranked Chapman University, the Mount St. Mary’s University men’s water polo prevented another rally to outlast Biola University, 11-9, on the  first day of the 2022 Gary Troyer Tournament.

In the Mountaineers’ opening contest of the day versus Chapman at the University of La Verne’s La Verne Aquatics Center, Mount St. Mary’s capitalized on scoring opportunities, converting 53 percent of their shots. However, the Panthers were efficient on their man-up chances by converting five-of-nine and buried three penalty shots to claim a comeback victory. Exclusions proved harmful to the Mount as the team committed 12 compared to Chapman’s six.

Three goals in the first quarter helped the Mountaineers grab a 6-4 advantage. Chapman responded in the second quarter, rallying to score seven times including the go-ahead goal with seven seconds remaining. The score was balanced at 13-all entering the fourth quarter, Eli Thalos registered a goal to go ahead, but Chapman answered with a 3-0 run and rode the momentum to the win.

In Mount St. Mary’s final game of the day versus Biola at Pomona-Pitzer College’s Haldeman Pool, the Mountaineers built a 6-3 halftime lead and 

Jumping out to a 6-3 halftime lead, the Mount had to withstand a third quarter charge from the Eagles. Biola found themselves trailing by five early and responded by rattling off five unanswered scores to tie the score at eight-all going into the final eight minutes of regulation.

Each team converted a man-up opportunity to start the fourth quarter, with Biola earning the lead and Mount St. Mary’s countering off an Alexandros Bellesis shot. Tommaso Baldineti provided a go-ahead goal with 5:09 left and for three minutes the Mountaineers maintained a precarious one-point lead as Biola worked to complete another comeback.

Joseph Maxson made kept Biola in check and a tying attempt with a little over two minutes left hit the bar. Baldineti provided an insurance score to polish off the victory in the closing minutes to preserve the win.

Release courtesy Mount St. Mary’s University Athletics Communications

Collegiate Water Polo Association