Women’s Water Polo routs Grove City, 24-3, in opener

Women’s Water Polo routs Grove City, 24-3, in opener

LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne women's water polo team flashed its depth and new talent in a 24-3 victory over Grove City on Thursday afternoon at La Verne Aquatics Center.

A dozen players got on the scoresheet for the Leopards and five had multiple goals. Jasmine Bustamante and Katie Stelnicki scored five goals apiece and Guarina Garcia had three. Lauren Quintero and Teresa Zuniga each found the back of the net twice.

Newcomers accounted for 21 goals and nine of the 12 that got on the scoresheet were either freshmen or transfers.

The Leopards, who surprised everyone with a fifth-place finish in the SCIAC under first-year coach William Rodriguez last season, figure to be even better this year. Rodriguez hauled in a stellar recruiting class headlined by Garcia, who is a member of the Puerto Rico Senior National Team, and a handful of immediate-impact transfers will add quality depth as the Leopards look to make some more noise.

The depth was evident early as Rodriguez utilized hockey-style line changes to keep up the pressure. "We are really happy with our depth," Rodriguez said. "We are able to play three lines and it felt very comfortable to look at our bench and have options."

It was never close. La Verne started the game on a 10-0 run and it wasn't until halfway through the second quarter when the Wolverines finally got on the board. The Leopards ripped off eight more unanswered goals after Grove City's first marker to put more daylight between the teams and cruised to the win.

The Leopards are back in action on Saturday at home against Concordia (Calif.) at 11 a.m.