Tempe, Ariz.----- The #9-ranked San José State University women's water polo team quickly dispatched unranked University of Redlands, 20-1, and Hartwick College, 21-7, to conclude a weekend series at the Mona Plummer Aquatics Complex on the Arizona State campus.
The Spartans (18-7) stopped a two-match losing streak with their highest single-game scoring totals of the season in back-to-back contests. San José State left nothing to chance in the first quarter outscoring their opponents by a combined, 19-1.
"We set the tone," said San José State head coach Johnny Bega about the two wins. The Spartans bounced back after a disappointing 12-4 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) conference loss to #6-ranked Arizona State on March 21.
"The match we really wanted was against Arizona State and we didn't get it. It was an MPSF match. We got out of sync. We told the team we have to keep composed."
Clara Espar Llaquet, the Spartans' top scorer, was the team's scoring leader for the day with nine. The sophomore from Barcelona, Spain scored three times in the Redlands match and led all players with six in the victory over Hartwick, which pulled off one of the upsets on the weekend by topping #15-Long Beach State, 7-6, in its morning match.
Kelli Leabo and freshman McKenna Yates shared match-high scoring honors against Redlands with a season-high four goals each. Yates with seven and Bianca Seyfert with six were two more Spartans to score at least two goals in each win. Rae Lekness, San José State's number-two goal scorer and sixth in the MPSF, scored five times against Hartwick after going scoreless in the Redlands victory.
Goalkeeper Sara Northam made her first start of the season and played the entire match against Redlands. She was credited with 10 saves. Northam came in for the second half of the Hartwick win and made eight saves in the final two quarters. Starter Katelynn Thompson played the first half against Hartwick and was credited with three saves.
San José State next sees action against #2-ranked Stanford in an April 4, 1:00 p.m., MPSF match at the Avery Aquatics Complex on the Stanford campus.
"In our preparation, we have to concentrate on our defense and work on our offensive execution. But, our defense is the most important," concluded the San José State head coach.
|San José State (17-7)||10||6||2||2||20|
|Redlands - Annie Kinney, 1.|
|San José State - Kelli Leabo, McKenna Yates, 4, each; Brittany Krappe, Clara Espar Llaquet, Bianca Seyfert, 3, each; Victoria Smith, Dani Styles, Donia Momen, 1, each.|
|Redlands - A.C. Lopez, 5.|
|San José State - Sara Northam, 10.|
|Redlands - 2.|
|San José State - 4.|
|San José State (18-7)||9||5||3||4||21|
|Hartwick - Zsofia Polak, 3; Lara Young, Nikolina Mihajlovik, Katie McKenty, Kylie Traube, 1, each.|
|San José State - Clara Espar Llaquet, 6; Rae Lekness, 5; McKenna Yates, Victoria Smith, 3, each; Bianca Seyfert, 2; Timi Molnar, Brittany Krappe, 1, each.|
Hartwick - Josétte Santos (2 quarters), 3; Michaela Davies (2 quarters), 5.
|San José State - Katelynn Thompson (2 quarters), 3; Sara Northam (2 quarters), 8.|
|Hartwick - 3.|
|San José State - 7.|