USC’s Marko Pintaric Repeats As MPSF Women’s Water Polo Coach of the Year
As they take aim at a fourth straight conference crown this weekend, the USC women's water polo team has planted a solid set of Trojans on the MPSF honor roll for 2022. Head coach Marko Pintaric — who has his Trojans ranked No. 1 in the nation and 17-2 overall — has been selected as the MPSF Coach of the Year for the second straight season. USC also has six Trojans on the All-MPSF list, led by First Team honorees Paige Hauschild and Tilly Kearns. They're joined by Second Team selection Bayley Weber, along with Honorable Mention recipients Mireia Guiral and Grace Tehaney and MPSF All-Newcomer Team pick Honnie Vandeweghe.
Now in his third season as head coach of the USC water polo program, Pintaric has collected a 51-4 record so far with the USC women. In 2022, Pintaric guided USC to a perfect 6-0 mark in MPSF play, where USC avenged its only two losses of the season with a 10-8 victory at Stanford and a 9-7 win over UCLA to secure the top seed into the coming MPSF Tournament — hosted by the Trojans April 22-24. Pintaric was also named MPSF Coach of the Year with the USC women in 2021.
Standing tall on the All-MPSF First Team are two Trojan Olympians who returned to Troy this season and have been driving forces as captains and dangerous weapons for USC on both ends of the pool. Paige Hauschild has scored 38 goals so far this season to run her career count up to 155, ranking her No. 13 all-time at USC. Now in her third season at USC, Hauschild picks up her second All-MPSF First Team honor to go along with her Second Team selection as a freshman in 2018. Back in the water for her second season with the Trojans, Australian Tilly Kearns leads USC in scoring with 51 goals to date. The powerful two-meter presence has also shouldered the bulk of the load in drawing exclusions. A two-time MPSF Player of the Week, this is Kearns' first All-MPSF award
USC's next three All-MPSF honorees are in their fourth seasons as Trojans, and all three plan to return for a fifth year in 2023. A 2022 All-MPSF Second Team honoree and a two-time MPSF Player of the Week, Bayley Weber has her third round of All-MPSF honors. She's USC's second leading scorer this year with 47 goals, lifting her to rank No. 18 all-time in career goals at USC with 137. She also earned Second Team honors in 2020 and picked up Honorable Mention last season. This year's All-MPSF Honorable Mention list includes Mireia Guiral and Grace Tehaney. A lefty, Tehaney has scored in all but one game for the Trojans this year, holding 37 goals to date while rising to No. 26 all-time at USC with 120 career goals. Guiral, who has tallied 27 goals this year to move within striking distance of her 100th career goal, was recently an MPSF Player of the Week pick. This spot on the All-MPSF Honorable Mention list is the Spaniard's first All-MPSF pick.
In her first semester as a Trojan, freshman Honnie Vandeweghe has proven herself as a key player in the USC gameplan. She's sixth on the team in scoring with 22 goals so far, helping to capture the attention of opponents and earn her a place on the MPSF All-Newcomer Team.
The top seeds in the 2022 MPSF Tournament, the Trojans open up with a semifinal spot at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday (April 23) at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Placement games take place on Sunday (April 24), culminating in the 2:30 p.m. championship game, which determines the MPSF's automatic berth into the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
USC'S 2022 MPSF AWARDS
MPSF Coach of the Year
All-MPSF First Team
All-MPSF Second Team
All-MPSF Honorable Mention
MPSF All-Newcomer Team