No. 1 USC Hosts No. 11 UC Santa Barbara This Weekend|
Feb. 16, 2004
LOS ANGELES - The No. 1 USC women's water polo team (7-0, 2-0) will host No. 11 UC Santa Barbara (6-2, 0-0) on Saturday (Feb. 21) at noon in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at McDonald's Swim Stadium.
RANKINGS - USC is ranked No. 1 in the current U.S. Women's Water Polo Top 20 Poll.
Jovan Vavic - In his 10th season as the program's only head coach, Jovan Vavic has built the Women of Troy into a national power, which culminated with the 1999 national championship. He oversaw the program's move from Division II to Division I in 1996. In 1997, the Trojans made their first-ever Division I National Championships appearance with a seventh-place finish while the 1998 team finished in fifth place. In 2000, USC finished second in the nation and placed third in MPSF conference play in 2001. In 1999, Vavic, a native of Yugoslavia, was named the National Coach of the Year and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Coach of the Year. Vavic is also the head coach for the USC men's water polo team, which won the 1998 and 2003 NCAA championships.
VAVIC'S CAREER RECORD - Jovan Vavic has a 203-90 (.693) record in his 10th season with the Women of Troy.
MILESTONE WIN - With the 12-4 win in the championship match against UCLA on Feb. 8 at the Stanford Invitational, head coach Jovan Vavic registered his 200th career win for women's water polo.
Moriah Van Norman - Sophomore two-meter Moriah Van Norman (San Diego, Calif.) earned All-America and All-MPSF second team honors last year, leading the Women of Troy in scoring with 65 goals. This year, she scored 12 goals in four matches on Feb. 7-8 at the 2004 Stanford Invitational, leading the Trojans to the tournament championship. For her efforts, she was named Mikasa/MPSF Player of the Week. She leads the team with 20 goals this season.
Kelly Graff - Senior Kelly Graff (Irvine, Calif./Irvine HS) played in 26 of 28 matches last season for the Women of Troy and recorded 161 saves to earn All-MPSF third team honors. This year, she made six saves on Feb. 8 in a 12-4 win against No. 1 UCLA in the championship match of the Stanford Invitational. She has made six starts in goal this season.
Liz Simms - Senior utility Liz Simms (Balmain, Sydney, Australia), who was a member of the 2002 Australian National Team, finished fourth in scoring last year for the Trojans with 29 goals. This season, she is tied for third on the team in scoring with 10 goals.
TOP FRESHMEN - Freshmen utility Erika Figge (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) and utility Brittany Hayes (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill HS) were members of the United States Junior National Team. Hayes is second on the team in scoring this season with 16 goals, scoring them in four matches at the Stanford Invitational (Feb. 7-8). She led the Women of Troy with a team-high three goals in a 9-4 MPSF win on Feb. 14 at No. 6 California.
SISTER ACT - This season, USC has not one, but two sets of sisters on the team. Sophomore two-meter defender Lauren Wenger (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson HS) is joined this season by her freshman sister, Jana, while junior driver Melissa Madrid (Commerce, Calif./Bell Gardens HS) is joined by her freshman sister, Denise. Lauren Wenger scored 27 goals last season for the Trojans while Melissa Madrid recorded nine goals.