No. 8 Bears Return To Fresno
NO. 8 CAL (1-0) VS. FRESNO PACIFIC (0-1)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 | 2:30 P.M. PT | FRESNO STATE AQUATICS CENTER | FRESNO, CALIF..
The No. 8 Cal women's water polo team makes its second consecutive trip to Fresno to begin the season, this time taking on both No. 11 Fresno State and Fresno Pacific. The Bears defeated Fresno State 16-7 last Saturday, their most lopsided win in a season-opener since a 12-3 victory over San Jose State to begin the 2017 campaign. Freshman Maryn Dempsey starred for the Bears, compiling three goals, two assists, two steals and a field block in the win.
The Bears looked strong in their season-opening 16-7 win over No. 11 Fresno State, getting contributions up and down the roster, including scoring from 12 different players. After it was tied 4-4 early in the second quarter, Cal held the Bulldogs scoreless for over 11 minutes to take command of the game. Seven of the Bears' goals came from their talented freshman class, including three from attacker Maryn Dempsey.
DEMPSEY DOES IT
Freshman Maryn Dempsey had one of the more memorable Cal debuts in quite some time, registering three goals, two assists, two steals and a field block against Fresno St. She became the first Cal player to record a hat trick in her collegiate debut since Dora Antal in 2014. Antal went on to become just the third four-time First Team All-American in NCAA women's water polo history.
FRESHMEN FOIL BULLDOGS
Cal's freshman class played a big role in the team's thrashing of Fresno St. in the season-opener, combining for seven goals, six steals, three assists and two blocks. Along with Dempsey, freshmen Mallory Reynoso, Reagan Whitney, Maddie DeMattia and Megan Musick also scored goals. Dempsey, DeMattia and Whitney each were members of USA Water Polo's junior development program.
Senior goalie Cassidy Ball shined in her first season as a starter last season, leading the MPSF with 134 saves and earning ACWPC All-American Honorable Mention. With her four saves Saturday against Fresno State, she now has 194 in her career, good for ninth on the Bears' all-time list.
Senior Brigit Mulder established herself as one of the top offensive players in the country last season, leading the MPSF with 59 points and 3.28 points per game. She had 38 goals and 21 assists, and finished the season ranked in the top-10 in five different conference statistical categories. Mulder was named an ACWPC First Team All-American after garnering honorable mention as a sophomore.
After surging during the second half of her sophomore season, Claire Sonne became a bona fide star last year. She was named an ACWPC Third Team All-American after recording 25 goals and 19 assists and finishing in the top-10 in three MPSF statistical categories. Sonne also is a terrific student, having earned ACWPC All-Academic Oustanding recognition in each of her first three seasons at Cal.
OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION UPDATE
Former Cal four-time All-American Anna "Nusi" Illes took center stage last month, helping Hungary win the Olympic Qualification Tournament. Illes scored nine goals during the tournament, aidng Hungary to nab an automatic berth to the Olympics when it qualified for the championship match. In the finals, Hungary defeated The Netherlands, which also earned a bid to the Summer Games. Senior Kitty Lynn Joustra was scheduled to compete for The Netherlands at the tournament but suffered an injury shortly before the event and was unable to play. Cal alum Dora Antal, a fellow four-time All-American and the Bears' all-time leading scorer, was an alternate for Hungary.
ABOUT NO. 11 FRESNO STATE
• Cal will mark fourth straight ranked opponent for the Bulldogs
• FSU reached double-digits in goals during 19-10 loss to No. 3 UCLA
• SR Emily Nicholson and JR Daphne Guevremont were ACWPC All-Americans last season
• CAL ALL-TIME VS. FRESNO STATE: 4-0
ABOUT FRESNO PACIFIC
• GK Camryn Berra earned ACWPC Division II All-American Honorable Mention last year
• JR Katie Kisling and SO Amy Zaninovich were All-WWPA selections in 2020
• Sunbirds opened the season with a 19-5 loss to Fresno State.
• CAL ALL-TIME VS. FRESNO PACIFIC: 4-0