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Lorenz Selected For USA Water Polo Hall Of Fame

Mar 16, 2021

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Ericka Lorenz has never been interested in receiving attention. But when you acquire two Olympic medals, it's kind of inevitable.

And Lorenz is now the subject of more attention after being selected for induction into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame.

Lorenz was a two-time All-American at Cal who helped Team USA win the silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and the bronze medal at the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece.

"My first reaction was, 'I don't want it'," Lorenz joked. "I knew that it meant I was going to have to speak in public and show up at events. In reality, I am so honored and it's kind of amazing that USA Water Polo hasn't just forgotten about me. Even if they had, that would have been fine."

Lorenz was a volleyball and softball star at Patrick Henry High School in San Diego who didn't start playing water polo until she was 14 or 15. She arrived at Cal in the fall of 1999, and just before the 2000 season was set to begin, she and Cal teammate Heather Petri were invited to train full-time with the U.S. National Team. They both made the team, and at age 19, Lorenz was the youngest member of the squad.

"She was an anomaly in terms of just being so explosive and powerful, and having talent that the game maybe hadn't seen yet," said Cal head coach Coralie Simmons, who was Lorenz's teammate on the 2000 Olympic team. "Whether it be her speed, her strength or her offensive capabilities, she was above and beyond where the game was at that point. She was one of the best shooters in the world and really fun to play with, in and out of the water."

Lorenz returned to Cal for the 2001 season and was named a First Team All-American after leading the Bears with 44 goals. She earned Second Team All-American honors as a sophomore.

Lorenz returned to the U.S. National Team program full-time in 2003 and qualified for her second Olympics. She had hoped to play in her third Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, but shoulder and knee injuries derailed her chances and she retired.

"I hadn't really thought about my water polo career in awhile, and some of the people I told made me realize how big a deal it is to have this honor," Lorenz said. "It made me reflect and realize all over again how unique and special that whole situation was."