Rae Lekness Named Spartans' Most Valuable Player

Her teammates voted Cara Robinson (left) winner of the Adriane Riddle Award.
May 11, 2016

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Rae Lekness, the new Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) career scoring leader, was named the San Jose State University Most Valuable Player for women's water polo at the team's annual post-season awards banquet.

Lekness, a senior from Calgary, Alberta, finished her four seasons with the Spartans scoring 294 goals, three more than the University of Southern California's Monica Vavic who scored 291 from the 2012 through 2015 seasons. The San Jose State first-team All-MPSF selection was the conference scoring leader with a school single-season record of 98 goals, two more than Clara Espar Llaquet who scored 96 in 2014.

Lekness also was named the team's Outstanding Offensive Player and received one of the team's three Senior Awards. Co-captain Kelli Leabo, from Stockton, Calif., and Brittany Krappe, from Portola Valley, Calif., joined Lekness as the Senior Award honorees.

Klaudia Paradi, a sophomore from Hungary, received the Outstanding Defensive Player Award; freshman Carla Toha Vilanova, the Newcomer of the Year; sophomore Molly Kaster, Most Improved; and freshman Sierra Painter, Spirit Award.

Cara Robinson, a junior from Calgary, received the Adriane Riddle Award named after a former Spartan who played for San Jose State in the 2001 season. The award recognizes the player who best exemplifies inspiration, dedication and courage. Robinson, a co-captain with Leabo on the 2016 team that finished with an 18-15 win-loss record, will return as a team captain in 2017.

Leabo took home the LouStrong Award named after former head coach Lou Tully, who died at age 70 in 2013. Tully coached San Jose State for 17 seasons starting in 1997, the first year of the program and led the Spartans to 250 victories and 11 top-10 year-end national rankings.