Nov. 16, 2011
DAVIS, Calif. - Prospective student-athletes Haley Cameron and Hailey Wright, members of the Davis High girls' water polo program that has captured three straight Sac-Joaquin Section championships, have committed to UC Davis by completing their National Letters of Intent during the November signing period. Both are seniors who are expected to enroll at the university in the fall of 2012.
For the last three seasons, during which both Cameron and Wright have started, Davis High posted a combined 85-10 record (including a 31-1 mark in 2010) with three section crowns. This year's squad went on to defeat St. Ignatius and St. Francis of Mountain View to advance to the NorCal title game.
A 5-foot-7 goalkeeper, Cameron has earned All-Sac-Joaquin Section honors for three straight years, including first-team honors as a junior and a senior. She also garnered All-America honorable mention in 2011, posting 150 saves. Cameron also starred for the Blue Devil softball team, batting .519 with an .808 slugging average last spring. She previously played first base and pitcher for the DHS baseball team. Oddly, Cameron is a right-handed thrower on the water polo course but pitched left-handed on the diamond. Although she played with her male teammates at Davis High, Cameron has excelled in the women's baseball circuit, competing at the 2010 Sydney Women's Invitational and for the Chicago Pioneers club.
"After this year, we graduate Rachel Tatusko and Riane Woods will be a senior. So a key for us was to get a goalie who can play right away, and Haley Cameron is that kind of player," said Aggie head coach Jamey Wright. "Haley is a phenomenal goalie but she's not a big goalie. She's quick and uses more leg strength and explosiveness, and she has a tremendous amount of experience playing at a high level."
Cameron also has family ties to the UC Davis campus. Her parents, Mike and Brenda, are both Aggie alumni. Her grandfather, Dr. Hugh Cameron, was a member of the founding faculty for the School of Veterinary Medicine.
Like Cameron, Hailey Wright captured three consecutive All-SJS awards in her career, including first-team acclaim in 2009 and 2011. As a senior, she ranked among the top eight players in the section, which will earn her a prep All-America nod when the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association announces its awards later this fall. Wright posted 56 goals, 26 assists, 23 steals and a team-best 53 drawn exclusions as a two-meter defender during her senior season.
"One of the areas we are trying to shore up is two-meter defender. That will be a need for next year and it has been Hailey's role on the Davis High team," said Jamey Wright, who will graduate four-year starter Kaylee Miller after the 2012 season. "It's a position that she really understands: leverage and technique and so forth. A player like Kaylee is really good at anticipating where the ball is going, staying long and outworking the person. That's what Hailey does. She's good at knowing when to get behind and when to stay in front.
"The one thing she has developed in the last two years is a good outside shot. She gives us a scoring presence on the outside, she can post up and do some other things. We run a lot of back picks and she knows how to do those well. She knows how to do a lot of the little technical things that we need to be successful."
Hailey Wright's expertise and "high water polo IQ" hardly comes as a surprise: her father is Jamey Wright, the Aggie head coach. Her mother is Nancy Wright, formerly Nancy Corstorphine, an All-American and National Team veteran. Additionally, her older brother Michael plays for the UC Davis men's team, while her uncle, Doug, is the Davis High girls' water polo coach. As such, Hailey will become the second Aggie student-athlete whose parent serves as the head coach, joining Tyler Les, son of head basketball coach Jim Les.
According to Jamey Wright, the family relationship presents its own challenges. "Hailey will have to make it on her own merits. If anything, when you're related to a member of the coaching staff, you have to be a little better than everybody else because you won't get the benefit of the doubt that somebody else might."
Besides their abilities in the water, both prospects are outstanding students who are active in Davis High's music program. Cameron plays the bassoon for the DHS symphonic band while Wright is a member of the school's jazz choir. Wright also has volunteered for the Special Olympics and the Davis Girl Scouts Day Camp.
UC Davis, which went 20-12 last season, recently competed in scrimmage play at Stanford as part of its fall practice schedule. The Aggies' 2012 season begins with the Spartan Invitational on January 21-22.