Junior Claire Pierce was named KAP7 WWPA Player of the Week after leading the team to a 4-1 record and scoring 23 goals last weekend. (Photo: Matt McMurdie)
Coming off a stellar weekend in which she led Cal State East Bay to a 4-1 record, water polo player Claire Pierce was named KAP7 WWPA Player of the Week on Wednesday. Pierce helped guide the Pioneers to two wins over Division I opponents and a 3-1 record at the Roadrunner Invitational in Bakersfield last week.
The junior paced East Bay with 23 goals, while adding four assists, four steals and 16 drawn ejections. Pierce led the team to wins over Fresno Pacific, CSU Bakersfield, La Verne and Brown, while its only loss came at the hands of No. 16 Hartwick. Thanks to Pierce’s offensive outpouring, the Pioneers outscored their opponents 68-35 over the weekend, including a decisive 21-5 win over the Leopards.
The Perth, Australia native opened the weekend with a six-goal performance, accounting for half of the Pioneers’ goals in a 12-6 victory over Fresno Pacific on Friday. In helping East Bay split on the first day of the tournament, Pierce notched three goals apiece in the win over the Roadrunners and the loss to Hartwick. The victory over CSU Bakersfield was the Pioneers’ second of the season, accounting for Roadrunners’ only losses to conference opponents this year.
On the final day of the tournament, Pierce opened with a seven-goal game in the win over La Verne. In the 12-11 sudden-death victory over the Bears, she led the team again with four scores to help the Pioneers claim their second win over a Division I opponent during the tournament.
Thanks to the 4-1 weekend, East Bay has won eight of its last 10 games and is now 12-8 overall and 6-3 against WWPA teams. The Pioneers have posted five wins against Division I opponents and currently sit in second place in the league standings.
The Player of the Week honor is the second for Pierce and sixth for the Pioneers since they joined the WWPA during the 2009-10 season. Pierce joins teammate Jayme Pekarske as East Bay’s two honorees this season. All told Cal State East bay has claimed seven conference player of the week awards during the 2011-12 campaign. Pierce joins men’s basketball players Mark Samuels and Roshun Wynne, softball players Sara Holdridge and Taylor Neumann, golfer Chris Herzog and Pekarske as Player of the Week honorees this season.
Pierce and Cal State East Bay return to action on April 1 when they travel to Seaside for a pair of games with Concordia and WWPA foe Cal State Monterey Bay. The Pioneers are set to meet the Eagles at 1 p.m. before taking on the Otters at 4 p.m. on Saturday at The Otter Tank.