Spartans Open MPSF Women's Water Polo Championship With Cal

Interim head coach Johnny Bega led the Spartans to their fourth 20-win season in school history.

April 23, 2014

The San José State University women's water polo team can make its case for its first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history with a strong showing at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championship beginning Friday, April 25, at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center on the University of Southern California campus.

San José State is one of seven teams entered in the three-day championship tournament running through Sunday, April 27 to determine the MPSF's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans are the fifth seed after finishing in a three-way tie for fourth place with California and Arizona State. San José State, ranked seventh in the national coaches poll, its highest ranking of the season, faces #5-ranked Cal in a first-round MPSF contest at 2:30 p.m.

The Last Meeting
San Jose State10
#4-California12
March 8, 2014
Berkeley, Calif.
#10-Spartans Edged By #4-Cal, 12-10
The Spartans led early in the first quarter, but once Cal took the lead, San Jose State was unable to complete a comeback.

Daily coverage include live game feeds will be available at: http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/w-wpolo/2014-w-wpolo-mpsf-champ.html

The Spartans (20-11, 2-4 MPSF) and the Golden Bears (17-7, 2-4 MPSF) are meeting for the third time this season. Cal has 9-8 and 12-10 wins over San José State in regular-season action. The Spartans are looking to defeat the Golden Bears for the first time in 17 tries. San José State's last win in the series was a 14-13 overtime win in San José on February 10, 2007.

Regular-season champion Stanford, UCLA, USC and CSU Bakersfield round out the seven teams in the field. Stanford, UCLA and USC are ranked 1-2-3 in this week's national coaches poll. Arizona State and Cal are 4-5, respectively. CSU Bakersfield is the only unranked team in the MPSF.

This year's NCAA Tournament will consist of 10 teams. The MPSF is one of six conferences with automatic qualifying status. Four teams selected as at-large entries will complete the field. The Tournament field will be announced Monday, April 28, at 1:30 p.m. (PDT).

San José State features one of the highest scoring teams nationally. The Spartans scored 377 goals in the regular season matching the school record of 377 set by 2009 team that played 34 matches. Seven players scored 20 or more goals during the season. Freshman Clara Espar Llaquet set a single-season school record with 92 goals and sophomore Rae Lekness was second on the team with 76. Co-captain Timi Molnar with 50 goals became the fourth San José State player to score 50 or more in a season three times. Victoria Smith with 43, Bianca Seyfert with 29, Rachel Henry with 24 and Kelli Leabowith 20 all have personal single-season bests in the scoring column.

The winner of the San José State-Cal match will face Stanford in a semifinal match Saturday, April 26, at 2:30 p.m. The loser plays in the fifth-place contest, Sunday, April 27, at 10:30 a.m.

College Water Polo Association national weekly coaches poll

April 23, 2014

Rank, Team Points

1. Stanford

100
2. UCLA            95
3. USC            91
4. Arizona State            83
5. California            81
6. UC Irvine            74
7. San Jose State            71
8. Hawaii            62
9. Princeton            58
10. Long Beach State            52
11. Cal State Northridge  49
12. Indiana           44
13. UC San Diego            39
      UC Santa Barbara           39
15. Loyola Marymount 37
16. Hartwick            25
17. Santa Clara            19
18. San Diego State            13
19. UC Davis            11
20. Michigan            5