For the first time in seven weeks, the San José State University women's water polo team moved up in the Collegiate Water Polo Association's weekly national coaches' poll and the Spartans can validate the move when they travel to the University of Southern California for a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), Saturday, April 11, 4:00 p.m., at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.
San José State (18-8, 0-4 MPSF) is eighth in the weekly poll for the first time since February 18 after spending seven weeks ranked ninth nationally. The Spartans moved up in spite of a 23-6 MPSF loss to #2-Stanford, on April 4.
Coach Johnny Bega's team seeks its first win of the season against an opponent ranked in the top-10 on the date of a match. All of the Spartans' losses this season are to teams ranked in the top-10.
USC (20-2, 3-1 MPSF) heads into its last home match of the season on a six-match winning streak after edging #4-California, 6-5, on April 4. The Trojans' only two losses this season are to #1-UCLA at the UC Irvine Invitational and #2-Stanford in MPSF action.
Saturday's matchup pits the MPSF's top-two individual scorers. USC's Monica Vavic is the school's career scoring leader and tops the 2015 Trojans with 82 goals. The senior from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., scored 20 goals during USC's current winning streak including four in the recent win at California.
San José State's Clara Espar Llaquet is second in the conference with 80 goals. The sophomore from Barcelona, Spain became the first player in school history with multiple seasons of 80 or more goals. Assistant coach Adriana (Vogt) Reed (86 in 2011) and former U.S. National Team player Juliet Moss (80 in 2009) are the other two Spartans to finish a season with 80 or more goals scored.
Victoria Smith, with three-goal "hat tricks" in the last two matches, and Bianca Seyfert, whose 46 goals are third best on team, join Espar Llaquet as San José State's most reliable scorers of late. Seyfert has 11 goals in the last six matches. Smith, with 38 goals on the season, is bidding for back-to-back seasons of 40 or more goals.
The USC match is the Spartans' final regular-season road contest. San Jose State concludes the regular season at home Saturday, April 18, hosting Bakersfield, in a 1:00 p.m. contest.
Collegiate Water Polo Association weekly national coaches' poll
April 8, 2015
|5. UC Irvine||80|
|7. Arizona State||70|
|8. San José State||61|
|9. Cal State Northridge||60|
|11. UC Davis||54|
|12. Long Beach State||46|
|13. UC Santa Barbara||32|
|17. Loyola Marymount||21|
|18. San Diego State||17|
|UC San Diego||4|