Friday Feature: Juliet Moss

Currently 11th all-time in scoring, named to the All-Academic teams by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, and an opportunity to represent your country in your sport, would be an impressive athletic career. However, San Jose State women’s water polo team member, Juliet Moss, has accomplished this in just the first half of her career. Moss, a junior from San Jose, was a key factor in why SJSU water polo had its best season in several years.

Last season was a terrific year for SJSU water polo. A team-record in scoring, a school-record seven-match winning streak, victories over 12 nationally-ranked teams highlighted by a win over California, the number-four ranked squad, all resulted in a sixth-place ranking in the final national poll. In 2007, Moss scored 55 times, the third-most in SJSU single-season history. Juliet tied a school record by scoring six goals in a single match, while becoming the first Spartan to do it three times in a season.

Although proud of the team’s recent accomplishments, the Mount Pleasant High School product is focused on what the team is capable of this season. “We are going to have to work harder than last year in our games and practice. Now everyone is expecting us to do well, so they are really going to want to beat us.”
The 6-foot-1 Moss expects added pressure from finishing sixth, “Every game will be tougher than last year, so we’ll have to make that extra push in practice to give us an edge in the games.”

The two-time San Jose State scholar-athlete is looking for her experiences during the off-season to shape her into a stronger leader. In July, Moss traveled to the Netherlands as a member of the United States Junior National water polo team. At the beginning of November, Moss traveled to the USA National Water Polo training facility in Southern California to compete in the Speedo Top-40 Festival, which featured the nation’s top players.

On playing with and against the nation’s top players, Moss said, “After the summer I realized how much further I can go, as well as well as how much more I can learn. It was an amazing experience and I have a whole new appreciation for the game after playing with Olympians.”

Even though playing against the top athletes was valuable, Moss believes that head coach Lou Tully is the main reason why she has improved so much, “He’s such a good coach. He understands the game really well and is always trying to make us more aware of different aspects of the game.” Moss added on the 12th year coach, “It’s amazing how much he knows about water polo. You can tell he really loves the game.“

The kinesiology major credits her success out of the pool to her parents. “My house is only 10 minutes away, so it’s nice to know I can get home-cooked meals whenever I want, but what’s really important is that they support me fully in whatever I do.”

Juliet feels confident that Tully and her parents have prepared her for life after San Jose State. “I want to earn my teaching credential and become a P.E. teacher. I hope to stay in San Jose, but I know I want to become a high school water polo coach.”

Tully, feels Juliet’s accomplishments in the pool are related her achievement in the classroom, “She has a tremendous work ethic, and she carries that into other aspects of her life. When you have an athlete with a strong work ethic, success in the pool and in the classroom usually go hand-in-hand.”

Besides Moss, the Spartans return several key players from the 2007 squad that finished with a 16-13 win-loss record. Kendra Adama averaged nearly nine saves a match. On offense, Geraldine Hazlett, Tanya Torres and Beth Harberts each scored more than 20 goals a year ago. Harberts was a third-team All-America player. The biggest challenge for San Jose State will be the depth factor during the season. The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is the nation’s toughest conference typically boasting all of the nation’s top-10 teams.

Past 2007-08 Friday Features

August 24 - Jackie Zabek, Women's Soccer
August 31 - Ed Brand, Men's Soccer
September 7 - Keri Anglin, Volleyball
September 21 - Jennifer Senftleben, Volleyball
September 28 - Jacob French, Football
October 19 - Erica Sahli, Women's Cross Country
November 9 - Dominique Hunsucker, Football
November 16 - Juliet Moss, Water Polo