Seeking to add talented players down the middle on both ends of the pool, four prospective student-athletes are joining the San Jose State University women's water polo program beginning with the Fall 2018 semester. Gabor Sarusi, the Spartans head coach made the announcement.
Olga Decalzi Portell, a 2-meter defender from Spain; Sophie Spivack, a utility player from Malibu (Calif.) High, goalkeeper AnnaMaria Luther from Palos Verdes (Calif.) High and 2-meter player Matilda Moore, from Queensland, Australia, signed a National Letter-of-Intent to enroll at San Jose State and become members of the Spartans' women's water polo program.
"We brought in skill, speed, size, athleticism and scoring ability into our program," said the San Jose State University women's water polo head coach.
"Olga brings international experience playing at the 2-meter. She's going to be able to make an impact right away. She is able to score in a variety of situations. She'll also be able to help us when we have "man-down" or "man-up (power plays).
Decalzi Portell played on Spain's 2017 European Club championship team and for the Spanish Under-18 national team in the 2017 European Championship. She played four years of club water polo with in Spain for CN Tarrassa.
Moore played her club water polo for the Barracudas in Queensland, Australia. She played for the Barracudas' Under-18 team in the Queensland junior tournament and for the Under-20 Sydney Youth Festival state team. Before enrolling at San Jose State later this summer, she will be playing in the 2018 Youth Water Polo Festival in Auckland, New Zealand, July 7-17.
"Matilda brings a lot of speed and size to the 2-meter position for us that we also need," the Spartan coach said.
Spivack was a three-time All-Tri Valley League player for Malibu (Calif.) High. In 2017, she scored 38 goals and was credited with 34 assists and 15 steals in a 25-match season. Spivack earned national academic honors from USA Water Polo and was a member of the Bruin Water Polo Club.
"Sophie is a versatile player who can do a lot of different things," summarized Sarusi.
Luther is a goalkeeper from Palos Verdes (Calif.) High. In two seasons, Palos Verdes was a Tri-Valley League co-champion and compiled a 37-19 win-loss record. As a senior, she was a team captain and was named her team's Most Valuable Defensive Player. The Sea Kings gave up just 7.03 goals a match in the 2017-18 season.
"We are losing two senior goalkeepers this year and we have a senior goalkeeper next year. So, we are excited to bring in a very promising goalkeeper with this class. AnnaMaria definitely has a lot of potential," according to the Spartans head coach.