For the third time this season, the San Jose State University women's water polo team plays the #1-ranked team in the country when the Spartans welcome the University of Southern California (USC) to the Aquatics Center, Saturday, March 26. The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) contest begins at 1:00 p.m. (PDT).
San Jose State (13-10, 0-2 MPSF) heads into the conference match with its longest winning streak of the season after sweeping four matches at the ZUMO LMU Invitational March 17-18 and is ranked tenth in the national coaches poll for the second time in the last three weeks.
The Spartans had seven players, seniors Kelli Leabo and Rae Lekness, juniors Cara Robinson and Donia Momen, sophomore McKenna Yates and freshmen Carla Toha Vilanova and Klaudia Paradi score multiple goals in at least one of the four wins. Lekness, the MPSF scoring leader with 69 goals, had a pair of five-goal performances and Momen added one, too in the LMU Invitational.
"It (the tournament sweep) gives us confidence going into (the USC match). It raises the spirit of our team and we've got to feed off of it," San Jose State head coach Johnny Bega said following the LMU Invitational about meeting USC.
The Trojans (14-0, 1-0 MPSF) are the top-ranked team nationally for the sixth consecutive week. In its last five matches, all against teams ranked in the top-10, USC's opponents are averaging 4.8 goals per contest. Just three times this season, an opponent scored seven or more goals in a match against the MPSF conference leader.
USC boasts three of the MPSF's top-10 scorers. Stephania Haralabidis, Ioanna Haralabidis and Avery Peterson are second, sixth and seventh, respectively, in scoring average in the MPSF. Goalkeepers Victoria Chamorro and Amanda Longan have a goals against average of 5.09 and 5.14, respectively.
Earlier in the season, San Jose State lost twice to Stanford when the Cardinal was the top-ranked team in the country.
There is no admission charge to watch the Spartans host USC. Parking is available one block away in the 7th Street garage.
Collegiate Water Polo Association weekly coaches poll
March 23, 2016
|5. UC Davis||80|
|6. Arizona State||76|
|7. UC Irvine||75|
|10. San José State||62|
|UC San Diego||62|
|14. UC Santa Barbara||43|
|16. Loyola Marymount||41|
|19. San Diego State||29|
|21. Long Beach State||22|
|22. Cal Baptist||14|
|24. CSU Bakersfield||10|
|25. CSU Northridge||4|