No. 4 Bears Face Final Road Test At No. 16 SJSU
NO. 4 CAL (7-4, 2-4 MPSF) AT NO. 16 SAN JOSE STATE (1-9, 0-6 MPSF)
SPARTAN RECREATION & AQUATIC CENTER | SAN JOSE, CALIF.
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The No. 4 Cal women's water polo team plays its final true road games of the season this weekend when it makes the short bus ride south to visit No. 16 San Jose State. The Bears are coming off a dominating defensive performance in a pair of wins last weekend against then-No. 4 Arizona State, including a 5-3 victory on Sunday in which Cal held the Sun Devils scoreless for the first three quarters. Goalie Cassidy Ball, who made eight saves in each game against ASU, was named the MPSF Player of the Week for her performance. The Bears defeated the Spartans 19-8 at home earlier this season.
BALL NAMED MPSF PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior All-American goalie Cassidy Ball put up a wall in the cage last weekend during a pair of victories over Arizona State. She made eight saves in each game, and led a smothering defensive effort that limited the Sun Devils to 10 goals total. That included an especially dominant performance in a 5-3 win Sunday in which the Bears held ASU scoreless for the first three quarters. The Sun Devils entered the game averaging 11.5 goals per game.
MOVING ON UP
In addition to putting together a terrific senior season, Cal goalie Cassidy Ball is climbing the list of the program's all-time saves leaders. Now with 70 saves this season, Ball has 260 in her career and is just seven saves away from moving into eighth place on Cal's career list. Lindsay Dorst, who played at Cal from 2010-12, is currently in the No. 8 spot with 266 career saves. Stephanie Peckham is the program's all-time leader with 816.
Junior Elli Protopapas returned to the pool last weekend after a two-game absence due to injury and played a significant role in the Bears' two victories. She had two goals and two assists in Cal's 12-7 over the Sun Devils on Saturday, and then two more goals and two field blocks the next day. Her final goal Sunday came with 1:23 remaining and sealed the Bears' 5-3 win.
THE KIDS CAN PLAY
Cal's eight-member freshmen class has become an integral part of the team's success. Reagan Whitney and Mallory Reynoso each won MPSF Newcomer of the Week honors earlier this season, and Whitney ranks second on the Bears with 16 goals. Reynoso is ninth in the MPSF with 1.2 steals per game and Maryn Dempsey has 11 goals, eight assists and seven steals. Demspey also notched a hat trick in her collegiate debut at Fresno State - the first Cal freshman to record at least three goals in her debut since Cal all-time leading scorer Dora Antal in 2014. Overall, freshmen account for 33 percent of the Bears' scoring this season.
LORENZ VOTED INTO USA WATER POLO HALL OF FAME
Former Cal two-time All-American and Olympic medalist Ericka Lorenz has been selected as part of the 2021 class of the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame. Lorenz won the silver medal as a member of the U.S. Olympic Team in 2000 then followed up with a bronze in 2004. As a freshman at Cal in 2001, she was tabbed a First Team All-American after leading the squad with 44 goals.
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, aiding 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. 16 SAN JOSE STATE
• All-American Lili Urvari leads the MPSF in steals per game (1.9) and is tied for the lead in assists per game (1.8)
• All-American Olga Descalzi Portell leads the MPSF with 3.4 points per game
• Spartans fell to Cal 19-8 on Feb. 27
• CAL ALL-TIME VS. SAN JOSE STATE: 55-2