The Saddleback women's water polo team went 4-1 over the weekend in the Saddleback Invitational as the Gauchos hosted seven other programs from around the state. Saddleback fell in its opening game before winning four straight on Friday and Saturday.
Saddleback opened the tournament against Grossmont College and after getting out to a 2-1 lead in the opening quarter saw the lead disappear as the Griffins went on to a 12-7 win. Maddie Alexander and Hannah McIlrath scored two goals apiece but the Gauchos fell behind in the second quarter and never recovered.
Later in the morning Saddleback picked up its first win of the season when it defeated Rio Hondo College 13-8. The Gauchos opened up a 4-1 lead in the opening quarter, getting two goals from Hailey Melendrez and one each from Bianka Diza and Maddie Choi. Later in the game, Kiana Allen scored two goals in the second and third quarters as Saddleback opened up a 12-4 lead after three quarters.
Saddleback finished the day with a 15-7 win over Southwestern College. The Gauchos got off to a quick start, scoring six times in the opening quarter to take a 6-1 lead. Kaylee Inducil would lead the team with three goals as Saddleback had a 10-4 lead at the half and never looked back.
Saddleback opened up on Saturday against Modesto Junior College and quickly took control. The Gauchos took a 4-0 lead in the opening quarter as the Pirates were unable to find the back of the net. Modesto started to find some offense in the second quarter but Saddleback still headed to halftime with a 7-6 advantage. The Gauchos took total control in the third quarter when they outscored Modesto 7-1. Lauren Ashby finished with a team-high four goals as Saddleback cruised to a 16-8 win.
Saddleback finished the tournament with an 8-6 win over East Los Angeles College. The Gauchos led 5-3 after one quarter and extended the lead to 6-3 at the half as the defense clamped down on the Huskies. East Los Angeles would get to within one at 7-6 in the final quarter when Alexis Schanderl-Richardson put the goal away on a goal with just under 3.5 minutes remaining.
Saddleback will get a few days off before heading to Fullerton College on Wednesday to start Orange Empire Conference play. The Gauchos and Hornets are scheduled to start at 4:00 PM in Fullerton.