After a two-week break from one of the toughest schedules in the country, the San Jose State University women’s water polo team returns to action as one of 16 teams in the Barbara Kalbus Invitational hosted by UC Irvine, February 23-25. Matches take place at the UC Irvine Aquatic Center and the Corona del Mar Pool in Newport Beach, Calif.
The annual three-day, four-match tournament features 16 of the top 20 teams in this week’s Collegiate Water Polo Association national coaches poll.
“We had a good opportunity to correct some of the things we needed work on. The time off was good for the ladies to recharge themselves and be hungry again to play tough competition,” said San Jose State women’s water polo head coach Gabor Sarusi.
San Jose State (2-6) is 18th in the February 21 poll. The Spartans already faced #1-ranked Stanford and #2-ranked California in tournament play and have #3-ranked USC (7-0) as their first Barbara Kalbus Invitational opponent on February 23 at 12:30 p.m. in the UC Irvine Aquatic Center.
Coach Gabor Sarusi’s squad has a doubleheader on February 24. The morning match will be against either #6-Arizona State (9-2) or #15-UC San Diego (7-7). The afternoon contest has start times ranging from 1:30 to 5:15 p.m. The final match will be on February 25 with start times between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
After the first month of action, newcomers Guara Garcia Delgado and Lili Urvari are the team’s leading scorers with 11 and 10 goals, respectively. Garcia Delgado and Urvari each have goals in six of the Spartans’ eight games. Garcia Delgado ranks 19th in goal scoring among Mountain Pacific Sports Federation players. Urvari is 21st.
“It’s one of the best tournaments around. We’re happy to be back again. We had a great Barbara Kalbus Tournament last year and we’ll try to repeat the same thing as last year,” added the Spartans coach. At the 2017 Barbara Kalbus Invitational, San Jose State split four matches and picked up its first win of the season against a top-10 ranked opponent, a 9-7 overtime victory over #9-UC Santa Barbara.
Collegiate Water Polo Association weekly coaches poll
February 21, 2018
Arizona State 80
UC Irvine 76
UC Davis 64
San Diego State 46
UC San Diego 44
UC Santa Barbara 40
San Jose State 33
Long Beach State 25
Cal Baptist 6
Fresno State 5
Cal State East Bay 4