San Jose, Calif.----- Senior Victoria Smith scored four times for San Jose State University, but the People's Republic of China defeated the Spartans, 13-9, in an exhibition women's water polo match.
China's Zhao Zihan scored five goals including four in the first quarter to lead all players in scoring and the Chinese team, presently ranked number-two in the world, to victory. Xiong Dunhan and Song Dunlun, a member of China's 2012 women's water polo Olympics team, each scored twice.
San Jose State took an early 2-0 before Zhao scored the next four goals in the match giving China a 4-2 advantage with 36.8 seconds left in the first quarter. The Spartans' Timi Molnar closed the gap to 4-3 with the final score of the period, but San Jose State would be no closer than two goals the rest of the way.
"It was our first time getting our feet wet (today). It was a very good experience for us. We showed a lot of different players and what we really are about," said San Jose State head coach Johnny Bega about the first of two exhibition matches with the Chinese team.
"We're looking at this as a lead into our season. It was a very good showing."
"This is huge experience for us. It's fantastic. It's great getting everyone playing at such a high level, too, against such a fast team," said Lekness, a 2014 honorable mention all-conference player who scored 76 goals as a sophomore.
"There are a lot of things we can work on, but this was an exhibition game. We have another one tomorrow. "
Katelynn Thompson of the Spartans was credited with eight saves. China's Peng Ling stopped seven San Jose State shots.
The two teams play a second exhibition match, Friday, January 9, 2:00 p.m., at The Aquatics Center on the San Jose State campus. The match will be streamed live on www.sjsuspartans.com.
San Jose State University Women's Water Polo
The Aquatics Center, San Jose, Calif.
January 8, 2015
|Score by Quarters||1||2||3||4||Final|
|People's Republic of China||4||3||4||2||13|
|San Jose State||3||2||1||3||9|
|China - Zhao Zihan, 5; Song Dunlun, Xong Dunhun, 2, each; Niu Guanan, Zhang Cong, Zhang Lei, Mei Xiaohan, 1, each.|
|San Jose State - Victoria Smith, 4; Clara Espar Llaquet, Rae Lekness, 2, each; Timi Molnar, 1.|
|China - Peng Ling, 7.|
|San Jose State - Katelynn Thompson, 8.|
|China - 5.|
|San Jose State - 13.|