The pre-season, nationally-ranked San Jose State University women's water polo team opens its 2013 season facing three top-15 teams in the Michigan Kick-Off at the Canham Natatorium on the University of Michigan campus, January 19 & 20.
The #9 Spartans take on #14-Indiana and #7-San Diego State on January 19, at 10:30 a.m. (EST)/7:30 a.m. (PST) and 5:30 p.m. (EST)/2:30 p.m. (PST), respectively. San Jose State winds up a full weekend of action with matches on January 20 against host and preseason #11-Michigan at 8:00 a.m. (EST)/5:00 a.m. (PST) and Colorado State at 1:25 p.m. (EST)/10:25 a.m. (PST).
"There are some great teams we will be playing - Indiana, San Diego State and Michigan - all are top-20 teams. And, we have Colorado State as well and they always are in the mix and have some good swimmers. It will be a great test for us," said San Jose State head coach Lou Tully who is embarking on his 17th season.
LOOKING AT THE 2013 SPARTANS
Coach Lou Tully enters his 17th season as San Jose State head coach with five returning letterwinners and a host of newcomers bidding for playing time at the start of the season. Senior Anna Natalizio and sophomore Timi Molnar are a Spartan pair to earn honorable mention All-American honors in 2012 and 2011, respectively. Natalizio scored 60 goals in 2012 and Molnar, 69, in 2011.
Junior Maddie Reardon takes over in goal full-time following the graduation of two-time All-American Meagan Minson. Reardon started six matches in 2012 and the Spartans were 6-0 in those contests en route to a 19-13 win-loss record.
Top newcomers include Canadian Rae Lekness and German Bianca Seyfert, two freshmen that played on their respective 18-and-under junior national teams.
"Getting Timi back is like getting three frontline players that are new to us," adds the San Jose State coach. Molnar only played in the first five matches of 2012. "We've been working to learn to play together.
"In the week and a half (of practice), we've spent a lot of time integrating the new players with the returning ones. They (the new players) are very water polo savvy.
"Maddie is taking over the goalie position. Meagan Minson graduated and she was a tremendous All-American goalie two years in a row. Maddie's been playing very well. The thing I like about Maddie is she is a 'gamer.' She steps it up when we get into a game and really does a nice job. We need to give good support in front of her and I think she will be fine."
2013 Collegiate Water Polo Asociation
|Place, Team||2012 Poll||Points|
|5. Arizona State||5||78|
|6. UC Irvine||6||77|
|7. San Diego State||8||66|
|8. Loyola Marymount||7||64|
|9. San Jose State||9||59|
|12. UC Davis||11||43|
|15. UC Santa Barbara||16||33|
|16, tie. Cal State Northridge||17||22|
|16., tie. Hartwick||18||22|
|18, tie. Cal Baptist||19||12|
|18, tie. Brown||RV||12|
|20. UC San Diego||RV||6|