Nov. 27, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. -
UC Davis women's water polo signed prospective student-athletes Heather Johnson, Greta Kohlmoos and Paige Virgil to National Letters of Intent, head coach Jamey Wright announced during the November 2013 signing period. All three players are high school seniors who are expected to enroll at the university in the fall quarter of 2014.
Virgil hails from Murrieta Valley High in Murrieta, Calif., Kohlmoos stars for Granada High in Livermore, while Johnson continues a tradition of top hometown products from Davis Senior High.
"One thing that jumps out about this class right away is a lot of offense," Wright said. "With the graduation of Jessica Dunn and Carmen Eggert, it becomes an immediate realization. The players that are coming back this year will step into those roles [in 2014] but it's nice to know we'll have people who can provide that. I think these are three players who really complement each other well."
Johnson will become the fifth former DHS Blue Devil on the Aggie roster, joining a team that already includes current sophomores Hailey Wright and Haley Cameron, and juniors Keelia Houston and Elsie Fullerton. The 5-foot-8 attacker scored 62 goals with 44 assists as a junior, then improved to 85 goals and 30 assists this fall, garnering prep All-America and All-Sac-Joaquin Section accolades in each season. Johnson, whose older sister Rachel plays at Stanford, has already competed for seven years under Jamey Wright's tutelage with the Davis WPC. She is a veteran of the Cadet National Team and Central California zone team.
"Heather balances this group in that we're getting somebody with really good speed and counterattack capability," said Wright. "That's Heather's thing. She plays good perimeter defense and looks for steals.
Kohlmoos, a 5-10 center, scored a then-school record of 146 goals as a junior to earn All-East Bay Athletic Legaue and All-North Coast Section first-team distinction. She broke her own benchmark with 152 goals this fall, repeating the All-EBAL distinction. With 108 steals, 24 assists and 29 drawn exclusions to supplement her offense, Kohlmoos rates as a strong candidate for a third All-NCS nod. On the club scene, she helped lead the 680 Drivers WPC to seventh at the 2012 Cal Cup and ninth at the 2013 U.S. Open. Kohlmoos also participated in the ODP with the Pacific Red A Teams, both at the Youth and Cadet levels. Academically, she ranks among the top 10 percent of her GHS class, holding a UC-weighted grade-point average of 4.10.
"Greta is a big-time scorer and two-meter player. She's big and strong and dominant at that position. She's also relatively new to water polo so she is still learning - her curve is still on the upswing. I think Greta will continue to get better. She'll be able to give us some extra help after Hannah Curran graduates."
Virgil, a 5-8 center, competed on the Cadet National Team after her freshman and sophomore season at MVHS, then made the Youth National `B' Team after competing in the SoPac ODP Region Championship last summer. On the prep scene, she captured Southern Section Div. III Player of the Year acclaim as a sophomore, helping her team to its second straight section banner. As a junior in 2012-13, Virgil helped the Nighthawks advance to the CIF-SS quarterfinals in their first Div. II year. She enters her senior year with career totals of 320 goals, 219 drawn exclusions and 165 steals, having claimed back-to-back Inland Empire Player of the Year awards along the way.
"Paige is a great utility player. She can score from the inside, she can post up against anybody but she's also very talented as an outside scorer, and she plays good defense. She's a high-end player who made the Youth National Team," Wright said.
UC Davis went 15-17 with a No. 18 final national ranking last year. The Aggies open their 2014 season at home against California on January 18.