OF LOCAL NOTE . . . The battle for women's water polo supremacy in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Southern Division has a distinctive Palo Alto look to it. That was quite evident last weekend when first-place Bucknell and second-place Princeton met in an important showdown that included four Palo Alto High graduates and one from Castilleja. In the pool for Princeton was senior Phoebe Champion and junior Tanya Wilcox (also on the roster is freshman Laura Martinez from Castilleja) while Bucknell featured sophomore Hallie Keenan and freshman Tara Murao. Not too surprisingly, some Paly grads were celebrating after the showdown on Sunday in Princeton's DeNunzio Pool. It was Champion and Wilcox doing the celebrating, following a 4-3 victory. The Tigers improved to 3-1 in league (15-8 overall) while the Bisons fell to 4-1 (12-8). Bucknell won the first meeting between the teams, 15-10, two weeks ago. The loss snapped Bucknell's three-game winning streak while the victory gave Princeton three wins on the weekend and gave Wilcox the CWPA Southern Division Player of the Week honors. Wilcox anchored the Tigers' defense in the three victories as they allowed fewer than five goals per game in wins of Maryland, George Washington and then Bucknell. Wilcox also added two goals in the Maryland match. Champion, meanwhile, continues to lead Princeton in scoring this season with 42. The senior now has 166 career goals. She was the 2009 CPWA Southern Division Most Valuable Player. She tallied 47 goals last season while earning all-division and all-conference honors. Bucknell, meanwhile, is still in control of the No. 1 seed for the Southern Championshipss. Since the Bisons hold the goal-differential advantage (18 to 14) over the Tigers, they only need to defeat Maryland on the road in their regular-season finale on Sunday to claim the top seed. Keenan leads Bucknell in scoring with 46 goals while Murao has tallied 10. Two weeks ago, Keenan was the CPWA Southern Division Player of the Week while Murao was the conference's Rookie of the Week following a 3-0 week.
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