Jan. 10, 2014
Aiming to improve on an 11th place finish in the 2013 final national coaches poll, the San Jose State University women's water polo team begins its 2014 season taking on Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB), Saturday, January 11. The non-conference match takes place at the Otter Tank on the CSUMB campus at 1:00 p.m.
San Jose State is coming off a 12-12 win-loss record and a sixth-place finish in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) standings a year ago.
The Spartans return two-time honorable mention All-America Timi Molnar, ninth on the University's career scoring list with 131 goals; 2-meter player Rae Lekness, the team's leading scorer a year ago with 54 goals; goalkeeper Maddie Reardon, fifth in saves (7.50) in the MPSF in 2013; starting field players Victoria Smith and Rachel Henry; and six more letterwinners.
San Jose State also expects to get a boost offensively from a pair of newcomers with international playing experience. Freshmen Clara Espar from Barcelona, Spain and Cara Robinson from Calgary, Alberta, competed for their countries in the 2013 FINA World Women's Junior Water Polo Championships. Espar was the number-two scorer for Spain's silver-medal winning team.
Johnny Bega is leading San Jose State after being appointed interim head coach on December 18 following the untimely passing of long-time head coach Lou Tully due to complications connected with cancer treatment. Bega did much of the game coaching in 2009 when the Spartans posted a 20-14 win-loss record and was sixth in the final national coaches' poll.
The Spartans are spending the first two months away from home. San Jose State's first home match is March 1 against Stanford in a MPSF contest.