Women's Water Polo
    No. 1 USC Lands In Riverside For Lancer Invitational
    USC pulls double duty with back-to-back games on Friday and on Saturday in Riverside.
    USC pulls double duty with back-to-back games on Friday and on Saturday in Riverside.

    Feb. 12, 2014

    USC Water Polo ReleaseGet Acrobat Reader

    THIS WEEK
    The top-ranked USC women's water polo team looks to build on its winning start to 2014 when the Women of Troy (4-0) head to the Lancer Invitational this week in Riverside. USC will line up against four teams in two days, beginning with a 12 p.m. face-off against Fresno State and a quick turnaround for a 1:30 p.m. battle with Redlands on Friday (Feb. 14). On Saturday (Feb. 15) the Trojans square off against host No. 19 Cal Baptist at 1:30 p.m. before taking on Azusa Pacific at 3 p.m.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC16
    Redlands2
    February 26, 2000
    Santa Barbara, Calis. (UCSB Tournament)
    THE LAST MEETING
    USC27
    Fresno Pacific1
    February 17, 2012
    Riverside, Calif.
    No. 2 Trojans Tack Up Two More Wins
    The No. 2 USC women's water polo team gave up just three goals in two games today in action at the Lancer Invitational in Riverside, Calif. The Women of Troy followed up a 14-2 win over Pacific with a 27-1 blitz of Fresno Pacific to improve USC's overall record to 5-1 in these early goings of the 2012 season.

    THE LAST MEETING
    USC22
    Cal Baptist3
    February 16, 2013
    Riverside, Calif.
    THE LAST MEETING
    USC29
    Azusa Pacific4
    February 15, 2013
    Riverside, Calif.
    No. 2 Trojans Tack Up Two More Wins At Lancer Invite
    The No. 2 USC women's water polo team drilled out two more decisive wins with today's winning effort at the Lancer Invitational. Monica Vavic had the hottest hand for the Women of Troy on the day, scoring eight goals across the Trojans' two wins -- a 9-1 victory over No. 11 Long Beach State and a 29-4 win over Azusa Pacific. USC improves to 6-0 with the victorious day.

    USC IN THE RANKINGS
    USC opened 2014 ranked No. 1 in both the national and MPSF preseason polls. The Trojans haven't moved from that top spot in the land as they now enter the fourth week of 2014 competition.

    LAST WEEK
    USC got out of the gates for 2014 with a winning run at the Triton Invitational in San Diego last weekend. The Trojans went big in their season opener with a 26-2 win over Sonoma State and then followed that up with an impressive 13-0 win over Cal State Northridge. The shutout of the Matadors was the first by USC since 2009 and the sixth in program history, and it set up the Trojans with a place in the semifinals the next day. There, USC was strong against Arizona State, taking out the Sun Devils with a 10-4 victory to move into the title match. Up against UC Irvine in the championship game, USC stayed strong and wrapped up the tourney crown with an 8-3 victory. Monica Vavic was USC's top scorer on the weekend with 11 total goals, including a career-high six goals scored against Sonoma State. Colleen O'Donnell also had a career best with a hat trick in that one, and freshman Stephania Haralabidis kicked off her Trojan career with three goals as well. She and sister Ioanna Haralabidis, along with freshmen Mikayla Tyler, Avery Peterson and Nikki Stansfield, and sophomore Natalie Lavinsky all scored their first career goals as Trojans in that victory. The hat trick train continued in the next game with Kaleigh Gilchrist scoring four and Jayde Appel Serving up three to lead USC past CSUN. In the semis, Eike Daube scored three goals to lead the Trojans, and Vavic added another hat trick in the title match. Senior goalie Flora Bolonyai shared time with fellow goalies Alegra Hueso and Melanie Slater in the win, but Bolonyai took over the cage for the next three games. She'd finish the weekend with 33 saves and just seven goals allowed, later picking up honors as the MPSF Player of the Week.

    THIS TIME LAST YEAR
    USC tacked up four more decisive wins during action at the 2013 Lancer Invitational. Monica Vavic would keep up her multiple-goal efforts with no fewer than three goals in each game to help lead the Trojans to a 9-1 win over No. 11 Long Beach State and a 29-4 win over Azusa Pacific on Friday, then through a 22-3 win over Cal Baptist and a 24-6 win over Concordia on Saturday. Scoring was well distributed throughout the stretch, with 17 different Trojans getting to the back of the net while in Riverside. That included sophomore Sara Salamon and junior Kelly Mendoza's first career goals as Trojans, and senior Blair Moody's first career hat trick as highlights to the weekend effort. Defensively, USC averaged just 3.5 goals-against per game. Junior goalie Flora Bolonyai started out with nine saves and just one goal allowed in USC's opener against Long Beach State. She and freshman Alegra Hueso would share time in the cage the rest of the way through the weekend. Monica Vavic would be named MPSF Player of the Week for the second straight week after her 16 goals, seven assists and four ejections drawn during the four wins.

    FLORA IN CONTROL
    Senior goalie Flora Bolonyai was a wall in the cage for the Trojans in their run to capturing the Triton Invitational championship and has earned the honor of MPSF Player of the Week for her winning efforts. Bolonyai had 10 saves in a 13-0 group-play win over #16 Cal State Northridge -- securing the sixth shutout victory in program history -- to advance the Trojans to the semifinals. There, Bolonyai pinned up another 10-save effort in a 10-4 win over #10 Arizona State for a ticket to the final. In the title match, Bolonyai opened the day with a save against a UC Irvine 5-meter penalty shot, and she'd finish with 11 saves in the 8-3 championship win. Bolonyai started the winning weekend with a couple saves and no goals allowed in one period of work in an opening 25-2 win over Sonoma State. In all, Bolonyai finished the weekend with 33 saves and seven goals allowed while USC opened the year at 4-0 with the victorious trip to San Diego. This is Bolonyai's second career pick as MPSF Player of the Week, following a 2012 selection and going along with a set of three Newcomer of the Week selections from her freshman season in 2011.

    LANCER INVITATIONAL
    The 2014 edition of the Lancer Invitational has nine teams landing in Riverside to play anywhere from two to four games apiece in a non-tournament format on Friday and Saturday. USC will cross paths with Fresno Pacific, Redlands, Cal Baptist and Azusa Pacific during the two-day span, with Pomona-Pitzer, Whittier and Occidental also lined up for some competition at the event.

    BY THE NUMBERS
    Through these first four games of 2014, USC is outscoring opponents 57-9. Junior Monica Vavic is the top scorer to date with 11 goals as she has climbed to No. 12 all-time in career scoring (127 career goals). Next in line in scoring this year is senior Kaleigh Gilchrist with eight goals to also bump up her career spot to No. 17 all-time (115 career goals.) Freshman Stephania Haralabidis is USC's third leading scorer this season with seven goals scored in the Trojans' first four games of 2014. On the defensive end, USC has a reliable anchor in senior goalie Flora Bolonyai, who is averaging 10.15 saves per game and 2.15 goals-against per game in her four appearances to date.

    WORLD WARRIORS
    The 2014 Trojans return five starters from the last national championship team. NCAA Tournament MVP Flora Bolonyai -- an Olympian and a three-time All-American -- is the undeniable backbone of the team as the Trojans' steadfast goalie. She returns as one of five All-Americans back in the water, joined by fellow senior All-Americans Kaleigh Gilchrist, Kelly Mendoza and Madeline Rosenthal. Junior Monica Vavic returns as another All-American as well as the Trojans' top scorer and MPSF Player of the Year last season. That entire group gleaned even more key experience in the offseason, playing internationally throughout the summer along with several other Trojan teammates. Bolonyai won a bronze medal with Hungary at the 2013 FINA World Championships. Gilchrist, Mendoza and Vavic, as well as juniors Colleen O'Donnell and Eike Daube, all spent time with the U.S. National Team. Daube and Vavic combined forces for gold with the U.S. Junior National Team at the FINA Junior World Championships, while Jayde Appel pulled double duty in representing Australia at both the senior and junior World Championships. She'd bring home a World Championship silver medal from Barcelona, where Bolonyai picked up her bronze medal. The international standout list goes on. Back from training with the German National Team is junior Jennifer Stiefel, and new to the Trojan roster this season are the powerful sister act from Greece, Ioanna and Stephania Haralabidis.

    WELCOME TO UYTENGSU!
    USC proudly welcomes visitors to the new state-of-the-art Uytengsu Aquatics Center this season. Made possible by the largest gift ever by a former USC student-athlete, diver Fred Uytengsu, the new home of the Trojan aquatics programs officially opens on Feb. 21. The pool and diving well both were used for the 1984 Olympic Games, but the surrounding facility has an entirely new look. A fancy new scoreboard as well as stands, overhangs, entryways and buildings with event and office space now surround the pools for an arena that also honors the historic tradition of success that Trojan aquatics exemplifies. The first home water polo game in the new Uytengsu Aquatics Center is set for March 7. See you there!

    CLIMB ON
    USC has several Trojans who are on the rise in the career record books. Junior Monica Vavic currently holds 127 career goals to rank tied at No. 12 all-time at Troy. She's seven goals away from the No. 11 spot. Senior Kaleigh Gilchrist, too, is making moves up the ladder. With 115 career goals, Gilchrist ranks No. 17 all-time, needing just one goal to move up to No. 16. Defensively, senior goalie Flora Bolonyai has a chance to take over as USC's all-time career saves leader by the end of the year. Bolonyai passed up Tumua Anae last season to take over at No. 2. Now with 676 career saves to date, Bolonyai is closing the gap between herself and all-time leader Bernice Orwig's 838 saves as a Trojan. All three USC goalies hold the distinction of being Olympians, with Orwin holding a silver medal with Team USA at the 2000 Games and Anae captured gold with the United States in 2012 in London. Bolonyai also is a 2012 Olympian, having played for Hungary in those Games.

    2014 TROJANS AT A GLANCE
    USC is coming off a 2013 season in which the Trojans posted a 27-1 overall record, culminating the season by knocking off defending champ Stanford 10-9 in triple sudden death overtime for the 2013 NCAA Championship at Harvard. En route to winning their fourth national championship, the Trojans also won the 2013 MPSF Tournament championship with a win over the Cardinal in that title match. This season, USC returns 2013 MPSF Player of the Year and All-American Monica Vavic, who poured in 77 goals last year, along with senior All-Americans Flora Bolonyai at goalkeeper, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Madeline Rosenthal and Kelly Mendoza. Named the 2013 National Coach of the Year, USC head coach Jovan Vavic now enters his 20th season at the helm of the Trojan women's water polo program.