May 5, 1997
Women's Water Polo Travels to National Championships at Michigan
THIS WEEK -- The No. 7 USC women's water polo team (13-18 overall) will participate in its first-ever Division I Women's Collegiate National Championships this weekend (Friday, May 9 through Sunday, May 11) in Ann Arbor, Mich. Led by head coach Jovan Vavic, the Women of Troy qualified for the championships with a seventh-place finish at the Western Regional qualifying tournament. USC opens the 12-team tournament on Friday with games against Massachusetts (2:50 p.m. CDT) and California (7:30 p.m. CDT). In 1995, the program's first year of existence, the Women of Troy took third in the Division II National Championships.
WESTERN REGIONAL QUALIFYING -- USC and UC Davis battled for the seventh and final National Championships berth at the Western Regional, hosted by California on April 25-27. The game was dominated by the defense and goalies until Cindy Clarke scored in the game's final second to give the Women of Troy a 2-1 victory over the Aggies. Bernice Orwig made eight saves in the seventh-place game and 40 during the five-game tournament, in which USC was 2-3. Christina McCall was USC's leading scorer in the tournament with eight goals.
JOVAN VAVIC -- Named the first head coach of the USC women's water polo program in 1995, Jovan Vavic has guided the team to a tremendous amount of improvement over a short time and the team's first appearance in the Division I Women's Collegiate National Championships. In three years, he has a record of 41-49 (.456). Vavic came to USC as an assistant men's water polo coach in 1992 and became the co-head coach in 1995. In the five seasons he has worked with the men's team, USC has a 102-33 record (.756).
CHRISTINA McCALL -- A graduate student in her final year of eligibility, 2-meter player Christina McCall has been outstanding as USC's top scorer, reaching the 50-goal mark in each of the last two years. In 1997, she has been both dominant and consistent with 50 goals, including goals in 26 of USC's 31 games, and earned All-MPSF Southern Division first team honors. McCall had a career-high six goals against Washington at the Western Regional (April 25). During one stretch, she scored 15 goals in five games (April 11-25), and in another, she scored 14 goals in five games (March 21-25). In 1996, McCall scored a team-high 53 goals, and in 1995, she had a second-best 31 goals. She received her bachelor's degree in 1996 after graduating with a 3.78 GPA in political science and economics.
BERNICE ORWIG -- The 1997 MPSF Southern Division Goalie of the Year, sophomore Bernice Orwig has been a standout in the cage for USC and a big reason behind Troy's improvement this season. She has made 237 saves in 29 games, an average of 8.2 a game. Orwig, who is also the goalie for the U.S. National B team, had a season-high 14 saves against Hawai'i (March 14).
KRISTIE CISSELL -- Troy's third-leading scorer, senior driver Kristie Cissell was named to the All-MPSF Southern Division second team and has 24 goals. She tied a career high with four goals against Harvard (March 21).
CINDY AND KELLIE CLARKE -- These two sisters have combined to score 47 goals in 1997 for USC. Cindy, a senior 2-meter player and driver, is in her third year with the team. Kellie, a sophomore driver, transferred from San Diego State after last season. Kellie's 29 goals are second on the team while Cindy's 18 goals are tied for fourth. Both had season highs of five goals at the Pomona Tournament: Kellie against Harvard (March 21) and Cindy against Pacific (March 23).