DAVIS, Calif. -- The UC Davis women's water polo team officially starts this Saturday at 8:00 a.m. as San Jose State hosts their fourth annual Lou Tully Memorial Invitational, named in memory of former Spartan head coach Lou Tully. This year's invitational is a one-day, seven-match event, where the Aggies are scheduled to first meet with Stanford at 9:20 a.m., followed by host San Jose State at 1:50 p.m., and then lastly China's national team at 4:30 p.m. for an exhibition game.
According to the NCAA Women's Water Polo Rankings, which was recently updated on Jan. 17, the Aggies currently hold a No. 11 ranking going into the first week of the 2018 season. Among the games counting towards team records, the soon-to-be opponents of Stanford and San Jose State hold No. 1 and No. 15 rankings, respectively.
USAWP Hall of Fame Jamey Wright enters his 35th season as the UC Davis women's water polo head coach, along with seven newcomers in place of last year's four graduated seniors: utility Hannah Harvey, attacker Daniela Hernandez, goalkeeper Avery Dotterer, and attacker Emily Perry.
During the 2016-2017 season, Harvey got 28 points, 37 assists, and won 86 out of 100 sprints. As for the other graduated seniors, Hernandez contributed six goals and 13 assists throughout the season, while Dotterer tallied up a total of 226 saves. This year's team will be comprised of strong leadership from the six new seniors: attackers Sammy Preston and Heather Johnson, centers Jill Bushman, Carla Tocchini, and Greta Kohlmoos, and utility Paige Virgil, as well as a large underclassman group looking to make their impact as players in the Big West Conference.
THIS WEEKEND'S OPPONENTS: Stanford finished their 2016-2017 season with a 23-3 overall record, including a 5-1 overall record in the MPSF, a 7-1 record in home meets, a 3-1 record in road meets, and a 13-1 record at neutral sites. The Cardinals had a five-player graduating class, which included three-time NCAA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Maggie Steffens. San Jose State finished their 2016-2017 season with a 10-19 overall record, including a 1-5 record in the MPSF. The Spartans went 2-0 against the Aggies, winning both games by just one point, with the first one being 10-9 win on Jan. 15, and the other being a 11-10 win on Feb. 4.
WHAT'S TO COME: The 2018 schedule includes six-tournaments, one of which will be the the six-team, 10-game Aggie Shootout, spanning the dates of Feb. 16-18. This year, the Big West Conference Championships is scheduled to take place at UC Irvine's pool from Apr. 27-29, and the winner of this league tournament will earn an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships, scheduled to take place at USC from May 11-13.
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley.
Ranked among the top 10 public universities in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal and U.S. News and World Report, UC Davis offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 undergraduate majors across four colleges and six professional schools, including the world's top-ranked veterinary science and agriculture programs.
DON'T MISS OUT!
Tickets for all UC Davis sports are available by contacting the Athletics Ticket Office at (530) 752-AGS1, or by visiting us online at UCDavisAggies.com.
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