West Valley College • Saratoga, Calif.
Saturday, Jan. 14 vs. San Jose State • 8:30 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 14 vs. UC Davis • 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, Jan. 15 vs. UCLA (Exhibition) • 8:30 a.m.
The Stanford women’s water polo team opens up its season this weekend at the LouStrong Memorial hosted by San Jose State at West Valley College in Saratoga, Calif. The Cardinal begins with San Jose State (8:30 a.m.) and UC Davis (11:30 a.m.) on Saturday. On Sunday, Stanford will wrap up its weekend with an exhibition against UCLA at 8:30 a.m.
The tournament is named in honor of Lou Tully, San Jose State’s women’s water head coach from 1996 through 2013. Mr. Tully died in December 2013 at age 70 due to complications from cancer treatment.
LOOKING BACK TO 2016
Stanford finished 23-6 overall, its 12th straight campaign with more than 20 wins, and advanced to the NCAA title game for the seventh consecutive season, but ultimately was unable to collect its third straight national championship. The Cardinal, which fell to USC on a goal in the waning seconds of the national final, finished runner-up for the seventh time (2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013). Stanford has never finished lower than third at the NCAA Championships.
WHAT’S IN STORE
Denied in its bid for the program’s third consecutive national championship last season, Stanford will have an experienced roster with a wealth of firepower as it looks to reclaim the crown in 2017. The Cardinal returns seven of its nine 20-goal scorers from a year ago, including All-Americans Jamie Neushul, Jordan Raney, Kat Klass and Dani Jackovich, along with All-American goalkeeper Julia Hermann.
Added to that group are a pair of Olympians in Maggie Steffens and Makenzie Fischer. Steffens, who was the 2015 ACWPC Player of the Year in her most recent collegiate season, returns to The Farm after collecting MVP honors in Rio and captaining the United States to its second straight Olympic gold. Joining her is the freshman Fischer, who deferred her enrollment at Stanford one year and logged seven goals for Team USA at the Olympics. Goalkeeper Gabby Stone, a two-time All-American, is also back for her senior season with the Cardinal after taking off the 2016 campaign to train with the United States Women’s Senior National Team.
Stanford collected 33 points and four first-place votes to top the 2017 MPSF Women’s Water Polo Coaches’ Poll, which was released by the conference last week. It’s the third consecutive year and seventh in the last eight that the Cardinal has been the league’s preseason pick. USC was tabbed second with 30 points and one first-place vote, UCLA was third with 28 points and one first-place vote and California was fourth with 23 points and one first-place vote. Arizona State, San Jose State and CSU Bakersfield rounded out the poll in spots five through seven.
The 2017 Preseason Women’s Varsity National Top 20 will be released by the Collegiate Water Polo Association on Friday.