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Wednesday, March 20 , 2019, 3:03 pm | Partly Cloudy 63º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Water Polo

Kate Pipkin Leads UCSB Water Polo Past VMI

Playing its first match in over two weeks, and first home match since January, the No. 17 UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team did not miss a beat as they took control early and cruised to a 12-3 victory over visiting Virginia Military Institute on Tuesday afternoon at Campus Pool.

Despite a slow start offensively for both teams, UCSB (13-9) got on the board with 1:40 remaining in the first period after Sarah Snyder dumped it in to Sarah Kreiser, who battled for good position in front of the goal.

On the very next possession, Kate Pipkin fired a laser into the back of the net from beyond five-meters to give the Gauchos an early 2-0 lead.

The Keydets responded quickly with a five-meter goal of their own to cut the UCSB lead in half, 2-1, before the end of the opening period.

In the second period, it was all Gauchos as Shannon Moran, Pipkin, Mollie Simmons and Emily Martin all scored a goal apiece while holding VMI scoreless, giving UCSB a 6-1 lead at the half. Martin highlighted the scoring run with a nifty backhanded goal on a nice find from Kate Coski.

UCSB continued its scoring pace with two more goals in the third courtesy of Pipkin and Moran before pouring in four goals in the final period to seal the victory.

Pipkin led the way offensively with four goals while Moran, Simmons and Kreiser tallied two goals apiece. Amelia Meckelborg dished out a game-high three assists and Moran came away with four steals. Kenzi Snyder and Becca Buck shared time in front of the cage, finishing with five and seven saves, respectively.

Emma Perez led VMI with two goals.

The Gauchos turn right around to host No. 1 Stanford (12-1) on Wednesday at 12 p.m. at Campus Pool.

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