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March 2, 2009

Grove City opens season in California

ORANGE, Calif. -- The Grove City College women's water polo team opened the 2009 season Saturday and Sunday with four matches at the Chapman University Tournament. The Wolverines dropped matches against three nationally-ranked opponents Saturday but rebounded Sunday for a 10-2 win over LaVerne.

Grove City (1-3) began play Saturday morning with a 7-5 setback against Chapman, which entered the season as No. 8 team in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Division III pool. Senior Liza McRuer (Irvine, Calif./University) scored twice for the Wolverines while junior Amanda Thompson (Erie, Pa./McDowell), sophomore Lauren Baur (North Wales, Pa./North Penn) and freshman Chelsea Johnson (Worthington, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) all scored once.

Baur also assisted two goals while Thompson added an assist. Johnson recorded four steals. In goal, junior Kate Stiebler (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) stopped 11 shots for Grove City.

Saturday afternoon, Grove City dropped a 13-4 decision to Pomona-Pitzer, the nation's top-ranked Division III squad. Johnson scored twice while Thompson and sophomore Brittany LaPalme (Hollywood, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) also scored.

McRuer assisted on two goals against Pomona while Thompson and sophomore Beth Poston (Onsted, Mich./Lenawee Christian) both tallied one assist each. McRuer also recorded seven steals while Baur had four takeaways. Stiebler stopped eight of 19 shots.

Johnson fired in four goals Saturday night against No. 7 Occidental but the Wolverines fell 11-4. Baur assisted on one goal while McRuer had four steals. Stiebler recorded a career-high 16 saves, including one penalty shot.

The Wolverines wrapped up the weekend by earning a 10-2 victory over La Verne Sunday. Thompson fired in four goals for Grove City while McRuer and Johnson both had two goals each. Baur and freshman Amy Fleming (Annandale, Va./Annandale) also scored. Fleming and Johnson each assisted on a pair of goals while Stiebler also had an assist.

Baur paced Grove City defensively with five steals while Stiebler stopped six of eight shots faced. Grove City led 9-0 after three periods.

Grove City will open CWPA Western Division action Saturday with three matches in Ann Arbor, Mich. Grove City will face Michigan at 9 a.m. before playing Penn State Behrend at noon. The Wolverines close the day with a 6 p.m. match against Indiana.

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