DAVIS, Calif. — UC Davis women’s water polo secured four Californian prospective student-athlete to National Letters of Intent during the November signing period, as announced by head coach Jamey Wright. Alphabetically, the soon-to-be Aggies are Lauren Hooyer of El Diamente High School, Morgan Polterock of Clovis East High School, Noelle Wijnbelt from Foothill High School, and Hailey Williams of Saint Mary’s College Prep.
All four PSAs are currently seniors at their respective high schools, and are expected to enroll at the university starting in the fall of 2018.
LAUREN HOOYER (El Diamente High School’17)
Hooyer, a three-sport star starting her freshman year, participated in basketball and swim along with water polo; however, it was just the latter two sports that she remained involved in for all four years of her high school career. In her freshman year, she was awarded with Rookie of the Year, and in her senior year, she was awarded with the MVP award after collecting a 0.719 average block percentage and having 258 saves for the 2017 season. The goalkeeper from Visalia, Calif., also set a block record of 295 saves during her junior year, and had a 0.713 average block percentage.
MORGAN POLTEROCK (Clovis East High School’17)
Polterock, who was also a member of Clovis East High School’s swim team, received the Most Improved Player award in water polo, as well as the Most Improved swimmer during her freshman year. During her junior year, she got the Defensive MVP award playing in the utility position, and snared the MVP award as a freestyle swimmer. Prior to high school, the Fresno, Calif., native played for the Royal 559 Water Polo Club, where her team qualified to the 2017 USA Waterpolo Junior Olympics. Outside of athletics, she earned Academic All-American with honors, and was involved with a few club and volunteer organizations.
NOELLE WIJNBELT (Foothill High School’17)
Wijnbelt, a first-team All-Country pick as a sophomore, played the center position for Foothill High School. Going into the 2016-2017 season, the Tustin, Calif., native was a key player in helping the Knights finish their 2016 season as Division I runner-ups in their league.
HAILEY WILLIAMS (Saint Mary’s College Prep’17)
Williams was a four-year varsity water polo player and three-year swimmer for Saint Mary’s College Prep. In all four years, her team received first-place league finishes, and have qualified to the semifinals each year as well. Playing the utility position for her first two years, and then the center position going into her upperclassmen years, she received the TCAL League MVP award during her senior year, and captured the Stockton Record’s “All Star Best of Prep” in 2017. Aside from high school involvement, the Stockton, Calif., native was a six-year member of the Big Valley Water Polo Academy, receiving the USA Junior Olympic All-American Honorable Mention as a member in 2016. Outside of athletics, she was Academic All-American in 2015 and 2016, and a staff writer for her school paper.
“I believe these four incoming players will address the needs of the team, especially after losing this year’s six seniors.” Said Wright. “We are going to depend on them to come in and contribute right away.”
Wright also added, “Haley and Noelle are both centers, and because we’re losing three of our top centers to graduation, a major emphasis during our recruiting process was to make sure we fill those roles. Morgan and Lauren add depth to our team as a utility and goalie player [respectively]. Also, all four players had strong club experiences, some even with national experience, and is exciting to me because I know they have the potential to make a significant impact on this team.”
The UC Davis women’s water polo team went 16-18 for the 2017 season, placing fourth at the Big West tournament and finishing 12th in the final national coaches’ poll.
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