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March 28, 2008

Wolverines open Midwest Invitational with 2-1 mark

WHEATON, Ill. -- Junior Liza McRuer (Irvine, Calif./University) and sophomore Kate Stiebler (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) each fired in three goals Friday afternoon in helping the Grove City College women's water polo team earn an 8-1 victory over Macalester (Minn.) in the opening match of Wheaton College's Midwest Invitational.

In Grove City's second match of the tournament, the Wolverines dropped an 8-7 decision to Washington & Jefferson in seven overtimes. It is the longest match in Grove City water polo history.

Grove City rebounded in the nightcap, though, to earn a 9-3 victory over Penn State Behrend.

Against Macalester, Stiebler scored all three of her goals in the first half, helping Grove City (3-5) take a 5-0 halftime lead.

Sophomores Liz Juncker (Huron, Mich./Huron) and Amanda Thompson (Erie, Pa./McDowell) also scored once each in the win while freshman Lauren Baur (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) assisted on four goals. Stiebler also recorded two assists while Tompson and junior Monica Gigliotti (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) each had one assist.

Defensively, Baur and McRuer both had five steals while Stiebler tallied four takeaways. Senior goalkeeper Keala Walter (Keaau, Hawaii/Newberg, Ore.) stopped seven shots and also picked up three steals.

Against W&J, Grove City fell behind 7-5 in the second overtime but Stiebler and Gigliotti both scored to tie the game. The teams then played four scoreless sudden-death periods before W&J scored the game-winner after 19 minutes and seven seconds of overtime.

Stiebler finished the match with three goals while McRuer scored twice in the first period. Thompson also scored once. Baur and Walter both assisted on two goals apiece. Freshman Brittany LaPalme (Hollywood, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) added an assist.

McRuer recorded a career-high 10 steals while Baur and LaPalme both had four steals each. Walter stopped 16 of 24 shots.

Thompson scored three times in Grove City's 9-3 win over Behrend. The Wolverines led just 4-3 at the half, but broke the match open in the second half. Stiebler and LaPalme each scored twice while Baur added a goal.

Walter and Baur both assisted on two goals each while Stiebler, Monica Gigliotti and freshman Stephanie Gigliotti (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chartiers Valley) all had one assist.

McRuer notched seven steals while Stiebler picked up six thefts. Baur added five steals. In goal, Walter stopped six of nine shots faced.

Grove City will play Carthage (Wis.) at 12:30 p.m. EDT Saturday.

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