Women's Water Polo
    No. 3 USC Lines Up For Visits to LMU & CSU Bakersfield

    Brigitta Games and the Trojans hit the road for two games this weekend.
    March 25, 2015

    USC Water Polo Release Get Acrobat Reader

    THIS WEEK
    No. 3 USC is back on the mainland this week and ready to take a turn through two more opponents. The Trojans (17-2, 1-1 MPSF) will first take on No. 17 LMU (15-9) in a 1 p.m. clash on Saturday (March 28) in Westchester for nonconference bout against the Lions. The next day, USC will head farther out of town for an MPSF matchup against CSU Bakersfield (12-11, 0-2 MPSF). The Trojans will tangle with the Roadrunners at 1 p.m. on Sunday (March 29) in Bakersfield.

    THE LAST MEETING
    Loyola Marymount5
    USC14
    April 10, 2014
    Uytengsu Aquatics Center
    No. 3 USC Leaves LMU Behind For 14-5 Win
    The No. 3 USC women's water polo team turned a one-point game into a 10-point game with a balanced effort that launched the Trojans toward a 14-5 final victory over visiting No. 13 LMU today at Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The hot hand of the day was wielded once again by Eike Daube, who plugged in three goals during USC's first five-goal surge. When LMU finally broke through, the Trojans spurred off on another five-goal rally to leave the Lions well behind. The win improves USC's overall record to 22-1 on the year.

    THE LAST MEETING
    CSU Bakersfield5
    USC33
    January 17, 2015
    Westwood, Calif.
    USC IN THE RANKINGS
    USC opened 2015 ranked No. 3 in both the national and MPSF preseason polls. Now 10 weeks into the season, the Trojans remain ranked as the nation's No. 3 team.

    LAST WEEK
    USC's Spring Break trip to Hawai'i paired training with some nonconference competition as the Trojans emerged victorious with a 22-3 win over Pomona-Pitzer and a 10-1 win over host Hawai'i. Against the Sagehens, the Trojans utilized a stifling second period of play to push well out of reach, as seven different Women of Troy got to the back of the net in that frame to forge a path to victory. Monica Vavic paced the Trojans on the scoring front with five goals in the win, bumping the senior's career total up to 262 as she increases her hold on the No. 1 all-time scoring mark. Sophomore Ioanna Haralabidis was next in line with a hat trick, leading a strong contingent of USC scorers on the day. In all, a grand total of 12 Trojans got to the back of the net in the win. Four different Trojans accounted for USC's first four goals of the game, drumming up a 4-0 lead before Pomona-Pitzer got on the board later in the first period of play. That prompted USC to kick it into gear in the second frame as the Trojans rattled off nine unanswered goals before halftime. Vavic had three of those strikes to help USC to a 13-1 lead at the half. Freshman Brianna Daboub would make it a 10-goal surge with a goal to start off the second half, although the Sagehens would break their silence next to make it 14-2. Jayde Appel would score her first of two goals in that frame next, with Ioanna and Stephania Haralabidis knocking in goals as well to take USC to an 18-2 advantage entering the final frame. Pomona-Pitzer got one more to go in the fourth, only to see USC counter with Vavic's fifth of the day, Nikki Stansfield's second and the first goals of the game for Jennifer Stiefel and Ellie D'Ambra as USC wrapped up a 22-3 win. The next day, USC the Women of Troy were near-perfect on the defensive end as they eclipsed the No. 7 Rainbow Wahine in the second half for a 10-1 win. Hawai'i got on the board in the second period of play after USC had crafted a 4-0 lead, but that would be all the Trojans would allow. In response, USC poured on six unanswered goals in the remaining time to round out the powerful 10-1 victory. USC goalie Victória Chamorro contributed eight saves in USC's daunting defensive stand, which shut out its host for the last 11 minutes of play. USC opened its strong outing with a goal from Stephania Haralabidis after more than four minutes of scoreless play. That opened the floodgates for the Trojans, who received a blast from Melissa Bergesen next and then one from Vavic before the first buzzer to take a 3-0 lead in the first frame. Eike Daube rang up the next one early in the second before Hawai'i got one to go three minutes later, making it a 4-1 score for halftime. The landslide tipped in USC's favor just a couple minutes into the second half when Ioanna Haralabidis drilled her first goal of an eventual hat trick in the game. Her second came in the final minute of the second to take the Trojans to a 6-1 lead entering the final period. USC would dump in four more in the fourth, as Daboub and Stiefel got in on the scoring action to join Vavic and Ioanna Haralabidis' goals and wrap up a decisive 10-1 win for the visiting Trojans.

    SCOUTING LMU
    The No. 17 Lions enter the week at 15-9 overall with matches set against Azusa Pacific and Fresno Pacific before facing the Trojans on Saturday. Last week, LMU went 2-2 at the ZUMO LMU Invitational, beating Whitter 11-8 and losing to Princeton 11-6 on day one, then beating Brown 10-6 and falling to Michigan 12-10 on Sunday. Ivana Castro is LMU's top returning scorer, having provided 52 goals last year for the Lions. USC is 25-0 all-time against the Lions after a 14-5 win last year at USC.

    SCOUTING CSUB
    The Roadrunners enter the week 12-11 overall and 0-2 in MPSF action with a clash against California set for Saturday before facing the Trojans on Sunday. CSUB lost to UCLA 17-3 in its last competition. Kristen Jensen and Nicola Barrett lead CSUB in scoring with 40 goals apiece. Goalies Brittany Tyra and Courtney Wahlstrom have split time in the cage. Tyra averages 11.0 saves and 10.9 goals-against per game, and Wahlstrom averages 8.5 saves and 10.8 goals-against per game. USC is 11-0 all-time against CSU Bakersfield after a 33-5 win earlier this season at the UCLA Invitational. Last year, the Trojans beat the Roadrunners 21-1 at the UCI Invitational, 22-7 at USC and 22-3 at the MPSF Tournament.

    BY THE NUMBERS
    Through these first 19 games of 2015, USC is outscoring opponents 338-80, leading the MPSF in offense (17.8 gpg)and in defense (4.2 gapg). Senior Monica Vavic is the top scorer to date with 73 goals as she has climbed to No. 1 all-time in career scoring (264 career goals). Next in line in scoring this year is sophomore Stephania Haralabidis with 47 goals, followed by Ioanna Haralabidis with 35, junior newcomer Melissa Bergesen with 31 and senior Eike Daube with 30. Daube cracked the 100-goal mark with her two-goal effort at UC Irvine on Feb. 28 and now holds 108 career goals to rank No. 21 all-time in scoring at USC. Stephania Haralabidis passed the century mark on March 13 vs. ASU, to now hold 105 career goals. On the defensive end, USC has a reliable new anchor in freshman goalie Victória Chamorro, who is averaging 6.7 saves per game and 4.2 goals-against per game in her 18 appearances to date.

    UCI INVITE RECAP
    USC went into the 2015 UCI Invitational defending back-to-back titles at the competitive early-season tournament. Seeded No. 3 for this year's edition, the Women of Troy opened up group play with an 11-3 win over No. 18 UC Santa Barbara and then stayed balanced and powerful in ending the first day with a 14-4 win over No. 6 Arizona State. That put the Trojans into the semifinals against rival No. 2 UCLA. That match presented more of a defensive battle, and USC would wind up short in the low-scoring affair, taking a 5-3 loss to the eventual tourney champion Bruins to move into the third-place game. There, USC was ready to go in a clash with No. 4 California. The Trojans peeled out ahead of the Bears and pinned up a 12-6 win to wrap the tourney on a winning note with a third-place finish. Monica Vavic was USC's top scorer at the event, punching up nine goals with scores in every game, including hat tricks vs. ASU and Cal. Fellow senior Eike Daube drummed up seven goals, also striking in every game and with a hat trick vs. UCSB. Sophomore Ioanna Haralabidis also registered a hat trick vs. Cal, finishing up with five goals at the tourney. In goal, Victória Chamorro went the distance in all games. The freshman topped out with 10 saves in the third-place victory over Cal. She had eight saves vs. ASU and seven vs. UCLA.

    DABOUB ON THE BOARD
    During USC's winning effort at the Lancer Invitational, freshman Brianna Daboub was a perfect 8-for-8 on the offensive end of the pool. Her eight goals across the four games helped USC improve to 10-0 on the year, and also earned her the honor of MPSF Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 17. Daboub had scored just three goals in USC's previous six games coming into the Lancer Invitational, but stepped up and scored two goals in the opener against host Cal Baptist. She'd add another goal that day in a win over Redlands, and then upped her scoring game further the next day. Daboub delivered her first career hat trick in a win over Pomona-Pitzer and then scored twice in a win over Occidental to wrap the event with eight goals on eight attempts. It was Daboub's first career award as a Trojan, making her the second USC newcomer to win the award this season. Fellow freshman Victória Chamorro earned the honor on Feb. 10.

    TITANS OF TRITON
    USC's youth movement is showing its strength, with sophomore Stephania Haralabidis named MPSF Player of the Week and freshman goalie Victória Chamorro named MPSF Newcomer of the Week on Feb. 10 for their roles in helping the Trojans claim the Triton Invitational championship. Haralabidis was an offensive force for the Women of Troy, while Chamorro backed up the USC defense to great success. The respective MPSF honors are the first of each Trojans' career. Haralabidis twice won Newcomer of the Week honors last season as a freshman. Haralabidis had a huge final day at the Triton Invitational to help power the Trojans to the tournament title. She scored five goals in the semifinal win over No. 11 CSUN and then replicated that with another five goals tallied in the championship victory over No. 6 UC Irvine. Hot out of the gates in both games, Haralabidis had four goals in the books by halftime vs. CSUN and a first-period hat trick against UCI. She'd finish out the tournament with 14 total goals after providing two apiece in wins over Cal State East Bay and Long Beach State on the first day of competition. Chamorro set a career best for herself in hauling in 15 saves during USC's Triton Invitational championship victory over No. 6 UC Irvine. Chamorro went the full four quarters in that one, which USC won 10-5. She'd finish out the tournament with 27 total saves in her 13 periods of work, having played the first three frames in each of the first three games at the tourney. In all, Chamorro allowed just 11 goals during the tournament.

    MONICA ON HER MARK
    In USC's first games of 2015, Monica Vavic got out to a career-best start. She plugged in a career-high eight goals in the Trojans' season-opening win over CSU Bakersfield and then added six more goals in a win over Cal Baptist at the UCLA Invitational. For her powerful kickoff to her senior season, Vavic was selected the MPSF Player of the Week on Jan. 20. Along with her grand total of 14 goals, Vavic also contributed eight assists and seven steals in her five periods of work across the two wins. Vavic served up five assists in the 33-5 win over the Roadrunners and then had three more assists in the 24-3 win over Cal Baptist. Her eight goals scored in the opener matched the most goals in a single game by an MPSF player since 2007 and the most by a Trojan since Aniko Pelle in 2001.

    MORE HISTORY FOR MONICA
    Senior Monica Vavic has blazed a trail up the career ladder at Troy and now has her name etched at the top, having decisively taken over as USC's all-time leading scorer with 264 career goals to date. The record finally fell with Vavic's third goal scored against ASU on March 13 at USC's Uytengsu Aquatics Center. That blast pushed Vavic past Olympian Aniko Pelle, who had set the previous best of 255 when she finished her USC career back in 2002. Vavic also is making her mark in the MPSF history books. She now ranks at No. 5 all-time in the conference. The top conference scorer is listed as Pacific's Molly Smith with 286 career goals. Earlier this year, Vavic tacked up another new record for herself, having scored a USC and MPSF record of nine goals in a single game with her effort on Feb. 14 vs. Pomona-Pitzer.

    LOCKED AND RELOADED
    USC's three returning All-Americans alone have proven they can provide serious firepower. Monica Vavic topped the charts in 2014 with 75 goals on her way to a third straight selection as an All-American. Eike Daube and Stephania Haralabidis were first-time All-American honorees last season, having served up a combined 102 goals in weighing in as USC's next most prolific scorers. All told, six of USC's top eight scorers are back for more in 2015. Seniors Daube, Vavic and Jennifer Stiefel were right in that mix last season. Stiefel punched in 31 goals; Daube was third on the team with 44 goals; and Vavic's 75 goals pumped up her career tally to 191 to rank her No. 7 all-time in career scoring -- 64 goals shy of the all-time record. Fueling the offensive fire further are now-sophomores Stephania and Ioanna Haralablidis, whose 58 and 33 respective goals as freshmen make them key elements for 2015 as well, along with junior Jayde Appel, who struck 25 goals last year. Needless to say, USC has an adept ability to score.

    CAGE FIGHTERS
    USC's backbone for the last four seasons has been in the cage. Olympian and four-time All-American goalie Flora Bolonyai has now graduated, leaving the defensive duties to a new international import. Brazilian national teamer Victória Chamorro takes over as USC's starting goalie, backed up by returners Alegra Hueso and Melanie Slater, who both got in good game action last season. Head coach Jovan Vavic sees Chamorro as a burgeoning talent for the Trojans.

    2015 OUTLOOK
    Twenty years ago, Jovan Vavic got the ball officially rolling for women's water polo at USC. Fair to say, that ball just continues to pick up speed. Under Vavic's guidance, the Women of Troy have won four national championships since that inaugural 1995 season. And ever since winning their second title in 2004, Vavic's Trojans have reached the NCAA Tournament every single season while capturing two more crowns along the way. This year, the USC women show no signs of losing any of that postseason steam. Besides coach Vavic, there are three Women of Troy who have already had a taste of NCAA Championship glory. Junior Jayde Appel and senior All-Americans Eike Daube and Monica Vavic were all three members of USC's 2013 national championship team. Their veteran savvy provides the groundwork for this 2015 roster, which is also replete with plenty of talented youth to help drive USC back toward a 12th consecutive trip to the NCAA tourney after a third-place finish last season and a 26-4 overall mark. •