Stanford, Calif.----- With wins in its last two matches, San José State University finished seventh in the 10-team Collegiate Cup II women's water polo exhibition tournament at Stanford University.
Playing for the first time with Gabor Sarusi as the Spartans' head coach, San José State lost first-day matches to perennial powers Stanford, 16-2, and California, 12-2. The Spartans bounced back to defeat a USA Junior National Team, 11-4, and UC Davis, 10-9.
"The first two games proved we aren't afraid of a challenge. We didn't back down though we were up against top-ranked opponents. Our second two games confirmed that we can really bounce back. When we work as a team, we can hold better teams at bay and deliver wins," said Sarusi.
"Our team defense really improved from match one to four. We got lost in our counter defense in the first match (vs. Stanford). However, by the third and fourth matches, we were more organized coming back and making our opponent play half-court offense on us."
The Spartans played four goalkeepers and 18 field players in the four exhibition matches. Eleven players scored at least one goal. Sophomore Carla Toha Vilanova was San José State's leading scorer with eight goals including the game-winner against UC Davis with 0:05 left in the fourth quarter. Toha Vilanova and senior Cara Robinson scored in three of the four matches. Robinson finished the weekend with four scores.
The University of Southern California, the 2016 NCAA champions, won the tournament with a 12-11 victory over Stanford. Cal, UCLA, Michigan, two USA Water Polo teams and two from UC Davis also were in the tournament.
San José State opens the regular season, January 14, hosting the third annual LouStrong Invitational named after former head coach the late Lou Tully, at West Valley College.
Collegiate Cup II
November 5, 2016
|San José State||0||0||1||1||2|
|San José State||1||0||1||0||2|
Collegiate Cup II
November 6, 2016
|San José State||2||4||3||2||11|
|USA Jr. Nationals||1||1||2||0||4|
|Match #4 (7th place match)||1||2||3||4||Total|
|San José State||3||1||2||4||10|