San Jose State University and the University of California, two teams looking to get back in the mix for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) regular season championship, meet each Saturday, March 14, in a 1:00 p.m. match at San Jose State's Aquatics Center.
Each team is nationally ranked enjoying a fine overall season, but lost its MPSF opener to #1-ranked and conference co-leader UCLA. The Spartans (16-5, 0-1 MPSF), ranked #9 in the March 11 Collegiate Water Polo Association's weekly coaches poll, suffered a 7-3 loss to UCLA on March 1 to open MPSF action. On March 8, UCLA stopped #4-Cal (14-4, 0-1 MPSF), 10-3.
San Jose State heads into the Cal contest with a four-match winning streak capturing its wins by an aggregate score of 62-25. The Golden Bears are in the midst of a season-high three-match losing skid. The three losses are to top-three teams starting with current #2-ranked Stanford and #3-USC.
Cal, like the Spartans, has a lineup filled with explosive scorers. Sophomores Dora Antal (48 goals) and Anna Ilies (34 goals) are third and tenth in the conference in the goal scoring.
San Jose State counters with Clara Espar Llaquet and Rae Lekness as its one-two punch. Espar Llaquet exploded for 24 goals in four Harvard Invitational matching including a school record nine in only three quarters of play against Iona. She has a conference-high 66 for the season and ranks second in the MPSF in goals scored per match. Lekness is sixth in the MPSF averaging 2.25 goals a contest.
The Spartans' last win over Cal was a 14-13 overtime triumph in 2007 in the Aquatics Center. The last time these teams met was in the 2014 MPSF Tournament. Cal topped San Jose State, 8-7 in overtime. The Golden Bears have 16 consecutive victories over the Spartans.
There is no admission charge and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The match will be streamed on sjsuspartans.com/videos.
Collegiate Water Polo Association national weekly coaches' poll
March 11, 2015
|5. UC Irvine||80|
|6. Arizona State||74|
|7. Cal State Northridge||68|
|9. San José State||61|
|11. UC Davis||49|
|12. Loyola Marymount||37|
|13. Long Beach State||33|
|17. UC Santa Barbara||18|
|18. Santa Clara||9|
|19, tie. Michigan||6|
|UC San Diego||6|