San Jose, Calif.----- Senior Rae Lekness scored five goals in each match leading San Jose State University to a pair of season-opening wins in first-day action in the LouStrong Memorial women's water polo tournament.
The Spartans (2-0) shook off a rusty start, a rough end of the first half and needed a pair of 5-0 rallies to defeat Cal State East Bay (1-1), 13-9, in their morning match and took care of Sonoma State (0-2), 13-4, in their nightcap.
Lekness became the fifth player in school history to reach the 200-career goal threshold with her fourth goal in the opener against Cal State East Bay as part of a 5-0 rally to break an 8-8 tie after three quarters. Her score gave the Spartans a 12-8 lead with 3:24 left in the match.
San Jose State took the lead for good on freshman Carla Toha-Vilanova's first major college goal at 7:08 of the fourth quarter. Earlier in the match, Lekness sparked a Spartan comeback from a 3-1 first-quarter deficit with two scores in San Jose State's first 5-0 scoring run of the match covering nearly eight minutes over the first and second quarters.
Tayler Peters started in goal for the Spartans and was credited with five saves.
The nightcap was considerably less stressful for San Jose State that built a 7-1 advantage over Sonoma State midway through the second quarter on Lekness' third goal of the match. Lekness finished the day with 206 career scores. Toha-Vilanova found the net three times as the Spartans' other multi-goal scorer.
Sara Northam was credited with eight saves in goal for San Jose State.
The Spartans were one of three teams to win two matches on the first day of the LouStrong Memorial. Stanford, the defending NCAA champion, and California won twice. Cal State East Bay pulled off the biggest surprise of the tournament with a 12-9 win over CSU Bakersfield. UC Davis and CSU Bakersfield split two matches. Pacific, Sonoma State and Cal State Monterey Bay were winless.
The LouStrong Memorial concludes with eight matches on January 17 starting at 8:00 a.m. (PT).
Cal State East Bay (0-1) 3-3-2-1=9
San Jose State (1-0) 2-4-2-5=13
Cal State East Bay -- Taylor Cross, 3; Rocio Fesembeck, 2; Sabrina Hatzer, Casey Rushforth, Jenn Lightbody, Brandi Carroll, 1, each.
Cal State East Bay -- Nikki Vaughn, 13.
San Jose State -- Tayler Peters, 5.
Cal State East Bay -- 5.
San Jose State -- 7.
Sonoma State (0-1) 1-2-0-1=4
San Jose State (2-0) 5-3-3-2=13
Sonoma State -- Carleigh Robinson, Taylor Brown, Nicole Herrera, Ellen Peterson, 1.
Sonoma State -- Taylor Plorin, 6.
San Jose State -- Sara Northam, 8.
Sonoma State -- 7.
San Jose State -- 14.
Match #2 -- Stanford 16, Pacific 10
Match #3 -- UC Davis 24, Cal State Monterey Bay 3
Match #4 -- Cal State East Bay 12, CSU Bakersfield 9
Match #6 -- California 22, Cal State Monterey Bay 5
Match #7 -- Stanford 11, UC Davis 6
Match #8 -- CSU Bakersfield 11, Sonoma State 3
Match #9 -- California 12, Pacific 8.