#7 Water Polo Opens At Michigan Tournament

Spartan water polo opens the 2008 season participating in the University of Michigan Kick-Off Invitational. San Jose State will face UC San Diego, Indiana, Colorado State and Michigan during the weekend tournament. The Spartans are ranked 7th in the inaugural Mountain Pacific Sports Federation coaches poll.

 

In 2007, playing in the most competitive league in the country, Spartans finished the season with a #6 national ranking -- arguably the best in the history of the school considering the strength of schedule and the overwhelming talent in the MPSF.

 

The Head Coach

Lou Tully is in his 12th season as San Jose State University’s women’s water polo head coach.  As the only coach the Spartan program has ever known, Tully has taken the team from its infancy to a burgeoning national power.

 

Entering the 2008 campaign, Tully owns a career mark of 165-179. The 2007 season marked the fifth time in the past eight years that he has led San Jose State to a better than .500 record. In all, Tully has coached nine student-athletes to All-America honors.

 

2008 Team Leaders

The Spartans are likely to be paced by a trio of student-athletes this season: seniors Kendra Adama and Beth Harberts, and junior Juliet Moss.

 

Harberts, a 2007 third-team All-America selection, returns for her final season. An all-MPSF selection and a Spartan Scholar-Athlete, Harberts is a force from her 2-meter position.

 

“Beth gives us a great deal when she’s in the pool. She is a great shooter, she understands the game and she has a maturity to her that other kids draw from,” says Tully. “She’s seasoned and you can count on her in the clutch.”

 

The 6-1 Moss exploded on the scene last season, scoring 55 goals - the 3rd best single-season in school history -- and drawing the attention of USA Water Polo. During the summer she traveled with the USA Junior National Team to the Netherlands and was later invited to the USA National Water Polo training facility in Southern California to compete in the Speedo Top-40 Festival.

 

“Those two events were a tremendous opportunity for Juliet to train with national team members,” Tully said. “I think it gave her a renewed confidence in her ability that she can compete at that level.”

 

With his years of coaching experience, including  11 spent at various local high schools, winning league championships at Mt. Pleasant High School in 1977 and at Leland in 1997, Tully knows the importance that defense plays, starting with a strong, steady goalkeeper. San Jose State has that in senior Kendra Adama.

 

“One of the qualities you need in a goalie is stability; you need someone to be somewhat stoic in the cage,” says Tully. “In the years I’ve coached Kendra, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her rattled. She just doesn’t get flustered and that is important.”

 

 Tully’s Tidbits

On Junior Tanya Torres: “Tanya is so strong in the water and we see her taking a more active role in front of the cage this year.”

 

On Senior Geraldine Hazlett: “G is a very creative player with strong driving ability.”

 

On Sophomore Bridget McKee: “Bridget really fits into the utility role. She has good size, is very athletic and is fast in the water.”

 

On Sophomore Kelsi Okuda: “Kelsi has been a really nice surprise for us. She worked hard in the summer and the fall, and her shot has really improved.”