Jan. 14, 2016
Host San Jose State University is one of five preseason top-10 ranked teams in the season-opening, nine-team second annual LouStrong Memorial women's water polo tournament, Saturday and Sunday, January 16 & 17, at The Aquatics Center.
Coming off a 21-10 win-loss record in 2015, the Spartans are ranked eighth nationally in the preseason coaches' poll. San Jose State has just two returning starters -- senior Rae Lekness and junior Cara Robinson. Lekness ranks sixth on the Spartans' career scoring list with 196 goals. Aiming for San Jose State's unprecedented third consecutive 20-win season, head coach Johnny Bega has a 23-player roster with 11 freshmen, several of which are expected to have key roles in 2016.
"We're young, but talented and very capable. I don't see this year as a building year," says Bega, who believes the strength of the team at the start of the season will be its defense and plays in transition.
"We can be a very good scoring team. We bring back some good scorers in Rae, Cara and Donia Momen and have young players with very good speed."
Besides #8-ranked San Jose State, defending NCAA champion and preseason #1-Stanford, #4-California, #-9 UC Davis and #10-Pacific are in the tournament field. Sonoma State, Cal State East Bay, Cal State Monterey Bay and CSU Bakersfield also are entered.
San Jose State's opponents will be Cal State East Bay at 8:00 a.m. and Sonoma State at 1:20 p.m. on January 16. The Spartans' second-day foes are Stanford at 1:20 p.m. and Cal State Monterey Bay the tournament's final match at 5:20 p.m.
There is no admission charge to the LouStrong Memorial, named after former San Jose State University women's water polo head coach Lou Tully, who died at age 70 in December 2013. Parking is available in the 7th Street garage one block away from The Aquatics Center.
Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Association preseason coaches poll
January 13, 2016
|8.||San Jose State||62|
|14.||UC Santa Barbara||34|
|16.||San Diego State||31|
|17.||Long Beach State||28|
|18.||Cal State Northridge||26|