Women's Water Polo Seeks MPSF Championship & NCAA Tournament Bid

Defense will be one of the keys to the Spartans' success at the MPSF Tournament.
April 23, 2015

The San José State University women's water polo program has multiple goals when the Spartans open play in the three-day Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Tournament that begins Friday, April 24, at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center on the Arizona State University campus.

All matches will be streamed on Pac-12.com/videos.

Seeking their first MPSF championship and first NCAA Championship appearance, the Spartans take on #3-seed USC (21-3) in a 12:30 p.m. (MST) contest. The Trojans, presently ranked #3 in the April 22 weekly national coaches' poll, handled San Jose State, ranked #9, 21-6.

San José State (19-9) opens tournament as the #6-seed after defeating CSU Bakersfield, 14-9, in the final regular-season conference match for both teams on April 18.

Depending on the outcome of the match with USC, the Spartans will face either #2-seed UCLA (21-2) or CSU Bakersfield (12-15) on April 23. At the end of the day, the one undefeated team and the five remaining teams with one loss will play on April 24 for the first six places in the tournament.

The next San José State win in 2015 would give the Spartans their fifth 20-win season in school history and would mark the first time for back-to-back 20-win seasons. In 2014, Johnny Bega's squad recorded a 20-13 win-loss record and finished sixth at the MPSF Tournament.

San José State heads into the MPSF Tournament as the fifth highest scoring team in the conference averaging 11.89 goals per contest. Sophomore Clara Espar Llaquet, the first Spartan in school history to score 80 or more goals in multiple seasons, leads the team with 82 scores and is the #2-scorer in the conference. Junior Rae Lekness is tied for sixth in the MPSF with 61 goals and is coming off her 11th hat trick of the season in the CSU Bakersfield win. Bianca Seyfert (47 goals) and Victoria Smith (41) are two more Spartans among the conference's top-25 goal scorers.


 

 

Goalkeeper Katelynn Thompson ranks fifth in saves per match and sixth in goals allowed.

The winner of the seven-team tournament earns the MPSF's automatic berth in the NCAA Championship, May 8-10, at Stanford.

Collegiate Water Polo Association weekly national coaches' poll

April 22, 2015

Rank, Team Points
1. Stanford 99
2. UCLA 96
3. USC 90
4. California 85
5. UC Irvine 80
6. Hawaii 74
7. Arizona State 71
8. UC Davis 63

9. San Jose State

60

10. Cal State Northridge

57

11. Indiana

45

12. Princeton

44
13. Long Beach State 38

14. UC Santa Barbara

36

15. Pacific

34

16. San Diego State

21

17. Loyola Marymount

18

18. Michigan

15

19. Wagner

10

20. Hartwick

8