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Water polo set for UC Irvine Invitational

February 25, 2011


Sun Devil Game Notes and Statistics (pdf)

The No. 9 Arizona State University water polo team (2-4, 0-1 MPSF) heads to Irvine, Calif., this weekend to compete in the 2011 UC Irvine Invitational on Saturday and Sunday with games being held at UCI as well as Corona del Mar High School nearby. The Sun Devils will face No. 11 San Jose State (7-7, 0-2 MPSF) in their opening game of Pool A at 10:15 a.m. PT on Saturday at CDMHS with the winner playing the winner of No. 1 Stanford vs. CS Bakersfield at 2 p.m. PT and the losers of those two games meeting at 3:15 p.m. in the bracketed event. The Sun Devils will play two more games on Sunday as they move toward placement in the tournament.

• 2011 will be the 10th year ASU has competed as a varsity program
• Looking Back: ASU played first MPSF game (2004), upset Top 5 (2008)
• ASU is #9 in this week’s Collegiate Water Polo Association Top 20 (Feb. 23)
• UCI Invite features 15 of the nation’s Top 20 teams, including all of Top 7
• ASU faces #11 San Jose State in opener of UCI Invitational
• Review: ASU took sixth at UCI Invitational in 2010
• Recap: ASU went 1-1 on the road in last action (two weeks ago)
• Salloum is scoring in bunches (12 goals in 6 games)
• Salloum (#6), White (#14), Haas and Smith (t-#21) all in Top 25 MPSF goals
• Smith continues to climb career records lists at ASU
• Four seniors are entering their final season with the Sun Devils
• Team adds six newcomers, including four athletes, two staff members

On February 4, the Sun Devil water polo team celebrated the start of their 10th year as a varsity program. Back on February 4, 2002, the Sun Devils played host to Santa Clara in a doubleheader, dropping the first game, 8-6 in overtime, before winning the second contest, 9-2, for the program’s first win at the varsity level. Throughout the season, we will look back at the previous nine seasons of varsity action at ASU as we commemorate this anniversary.

10 YEAR REWIND: FEBRUARY 27, 2004 & FEBRUARY 28, 2010
As Arizona State celebrates its 10th varsity season in the pool, we will look back at some of the top story lines that have led the Sun Devils to where they are today. First up was a home game with No. 10 Hawaii on February 27, 2004, that saw the visitors escape with a 4-3 victory in ASU’s first game in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). On February 28, 2010, the Sun Devils face No. 5 Michigan and defeated the Wolverines, 11-6, to earn a spot in the fifth-place game at the UC Irvine Invitational. The victory marked just the second time ASU had defeated a Top 5 foe (upset #2 USC at the Stanford Invite in 2008).

Arizona State is ranked No. 9 this week in the Collegiate Water Polo Association Varsity Top 20, falling one spot from its ranking of No. 8 last week. This week’s rankings have all eight teams in the MPSF among the Top 10 with fellow conference members Stanford, USC and UCLA holding the Top 3 spots.

The coaches of the MPSF cast their votes for how they think the conference will shake out this year and Arizona State was voted seventh out of the eight teams, one point below San Jose State and one point ahead of San Diego State. Stanford, USC and Hawai’i enter as the Top 3 projected teams in the league.

The UCI Invitational fields 16 teams with 15 of those teams currently ranked in the national Top 20, including the entire Top 7 and nine of the Top 10 teams. The teams in the tournament include No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 USC, No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 California, No. 5 Hawaii, No. 6 Loyola Marymount, No. 7 San Diego State, No. 9 ASU, No. 10 UC Irvine, No. 11 San Jose State, No. 12 Long Beach State, No. 13 CS Northridge, No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, No. 17 UC Davis, No. 18 UC San Diego and unranked CS Bakersfield.

The Sun Devils open play on Saturday against No. 11 San Jose State, who Arizona State defeated, 12-9, in the Stanford Invitational. In that game, Mariam Salloum netted four goals with Sarah Harris and Lynlee Smith each scoring three times to lead the Sun Devils to their first win of the year. In ASU’s second game at the UCI event, it will face either No. 1 Stanford or CS Bakersfield as the winners of both games will meet and the losers of each game will meet in the bracket.

Last year, the Sun Devils posted a 2-2 record and finished sixth in the 16-team UC Irvine Invitational, falling 9-7 to No. 6 Hawaii in the placement game. Arizona State opened with a 14-4 defeat of No. 19 CS Northridge before falling, 15-8, to No. 1 Stanford. ASU advanced to the fifth-place game by defeating No. 5 Michigan, 11-6, before falling to UH.

Two weeks ago, the Sun Devils, ranked No. 8 at the time, traveled for a pair of games and returned home with a 1-1 record. The weekend opened with an 11-7 loss at No. 4 California in ASU’s first MPSF game of the season and ended with the Sun Devils scoring a 17-7 defeat of CS Monterey Bay. In the first game, Kelsey White led the scoring with four goals while Ianeta Hutchinson stopped seven shots. Against CSUMB,Mariam Salloum and Lynlee Smith each scored four goals and both Annabelle Carter and Shannon Haas added three. Lucy Baranyi stopped four shots in the second half after Hutchinson saved three in the first half of play.

Through six games this year, Mariam Salloum has scored only in three of those games, but when she scores, she scores a lot as all three games saw her net four goals each time. With a 2.00 goals per game average this season, Salloum is currently tied for sixth in scoring in the MPSF. She also currently leads the team in goals scored (12) and points (20) while sitting second in assists (eight), one behind the team leader.

In the latest release of conference statistics, four Sun Devils are currently among the Top 25 in goals per game average. Those players includeMariam Salloum (sixth at 2.00), Kelsey White (tied for 14th at 1.67) and both Shannon Haas and Lynlee Smith (tied for 21st at 1.50).

Through six games, Lynlee Smith has scored nine goals and added a team-high nine assists for 18 points, the second-highest total on the team. With those nine goals and 18 points, she continues to climb the career record lists. She currently has 125 career goals, which stands fourth overall and puts her 10 away from taking over the No. 2 position (first is 237 goals). In points, she has tallied 176, which ties her for fourth all-time and puts her 12 points from third place. With 125 career goals and 51 career assists, Smith need 24 more points to become only the third Sun Devil to record 200 or more points in a career.

Nikki Unbehaun entered her senior season with 71 career goals, which currently ranks 10th on the program’s all-time list. With 29 goals in her final collegiate season, Unbehaun would become the sixth Sun Devil to record 100 or more goals in a career. She has not scored yet this year, but has posted three assists.

So far this season, six different Sun Devils have scored three or more goals in a game, including three that have two or more games in that category. Mariam Salloum leads the way with three games (all three saw her score four goals each). Lynlee Smith and Shannon Haas have a pair of games with three or more goals while Kelsey WhiteAnnabelle Carter and Sarah Harris each have one.

Seven different Sun Devils have recorded two or more assists in a game this year with four of those individuals posting three or more. Lynlee SmithMariam Salloum and Sarah Harris each have had two games with at least two assists while Annabelle CarterIaneta HutchinsonKelsey White and Amanda Young have posted one. Smith and Carter hold the single-game high for assists this year as both have one game with four assists each.

Last week, the Sun Devils competed in a trio of exhibition games in Tempe as the Canadian Women’s National Team was in town for training. Canada, the No. 2 team in the world, won the three games, 12-6, 15-4 and 12-5. Individually for the Sun Devils, both Shannon Haas and Sarah Harris led the way on offense with five goals each, including four from Haas in the final game, while the defense was led by Ianeta Hutchinson, who recorded 30 saves total, including 12 in the first game.

A pair of Sun Devils that earned Honorable Mention All-America honors last season are back once again this year as seniors Sarah Harris andLynlee Smith will look to lead the offensive charge. Smith was the team’s leading scorer in 2010 with 51 goals (seventh-most in a single season in ASU history) while Harris was an all-around standout, scoring 38 goals (third on the team) while leading the team in steals (30) and by winning 82-of-98 sprints.

Harris also was selected as an Honorable Mention All-MPSF selection and is one of two Sun Devils returning this season after earning that distinction last year. The other returnee is sophomore Shannon Haas, who was named to the Honorable Mention All-MPSF team as well as the MPSF All-Freshman team. Haas was a standout offensively as a freshman, netting 47 goals, which ranks second on the school’s freshman season scoring list and also ranks 10th on the all-time single-season scoring list in program history.

The ACWPCA selected nine individual Sun Devils for All-Academic honors following the 2010 season while also honoring Arizona State as an All-Academic Team. As a whole, the team carried a 3.13 grade-point average, which was the 14th-best in the nation and second in the MPSF. Individually, Becca CloppMariam Salloum and Bonnie Miles were first-team honorees; second team honors went to Amanda YoungNikki Unbehaun and Shannon Haas; and third team accolades were earned by Sarah HarrisDana Harvey and Annabelle Carter. Each of those women carried a GPA of 3.20 or better.

On a conference level, seven individuals were selected Academic All-MPSF. Those Sun Devils included Kari WalshBonnie MilesNikki UnbehaunCandice PhillippeDana HarveyMariam Salloum and Kelsey White. Individuals were eligible for the academic award by carrying a 3.0 GPA or better and be a sophomore academically.

Four Sun Devils are entering their final collegiate campaign as the 2011 season will be the senior years for Sarah Harris (Cape Town, South Africa), Candice Phillippe (West Vancouver, B.C., Canada), Lynlee Smith (Auckland, New Zealand) and Nikki Unbehaun (Ann Arbor, Mich).

Six newcomers have joined the Sun Devils this season, including four freshmen and two new members of the coaching/support staff. In the pool, the freshman class including Lucy Baranyi (Budapest, Hungary), Paige Hacker (Phoenix), Ianeta Hutchinson (Auckland, New Zealand) andMadison Moore (Malvern, Pa.). Also new to the team are Laszlo Hruza, the team’s assistant coach, and Christina Hewko, a graduate assistant with the program.

One of the new Sun Devils, Paige Hacker, holds an interesting distinction as well heading into the season: she is the first player from the state to earn a place on the Sun Devil roster. A graduate of Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Hacker has been a part of the growth of the sport in the Grand Canyon State from Day One, playing on men’s teams and eventually working her way onto a U.S. Cadet National and Junior National Training Teams, the pipeline to the national team.

With the addition of Lucy Baranyi, a native of Hungary, the 2011 Sun Devil roster now features seven different nations. The nations represented included Australia, Canada, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

For the sixth year in a row, Todd Clapper will lead the program as the Sun Devils’ head coach and will continue to work toward Arizona State’s rise toward the top of the standings. In his previous five seasons, Clapper’s teams have built a 79-70 overall record while playing in the toughest conference in the nation, the MPSF. His teams also continue to hold rankings in the national Top 10 throughout the season and have climbed as high as No. 6 (three times in 2010). With a strong group of returning players and the addition of several top-notch newcomers, Clapper’s work is paying off for the program that is entering just its 10th year as a varsity program.

Arizona State will open its home schedule on Saturday, March 5, with a pair of games. First up, the Sun Devils will face No. 3 UCLA in a noon MPSF game at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center before facing Cal Baptist at 6 p.m. Both games are free admission for fans.