Seven players to join Pioneer women’s water polo team


Courtesy | Cal State East Bay Sports Information

Leandra Galloway,
Sports Editor

The CSUEB women’s water polo team will gain seven transfer students to the program for the 2015 season, many of which are First Team All-American, and All Region selections.

The 2014 season roster was evenly spread among freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, along with two red shirts, Tara Bustamante, and Miranda Diehm.

The Pioneers said farewell to seniors Allison Zell, Sara Hudyn, and Julia Charlesworth as they departed from the squad last season, which means several players will return.
Hudyn was considered a big weapon for the team at the utility position. She finished her career as a Pioneer with 75 goals.

Following her, Zell, who was very strong defensively finished her season with 40 steals and 43 assists. Third, was Charlesworth, who finished her last season with 22 points, 16 assists, and 17 steals.

For sophomore Casey Rushforth and freshman Olivia Mackell, the water polo season was not over quite yet, as they followed in the footsteps of Head Coach Lisa Cooper. The two competed at the 2014 Australia Junior Championships July 8.

The Pioneers finished last season with a 17-14 overall record. They were 5-3 at home, and 4-3 away. Although the team had a fairly good season this year, they struggled this past April at the Western Water Polo Association championship game with a brutal loss to the University of San Diego 3-16. University of San Diego completed their season with a 26-10 record.

Despite the incoming transfers, the water polo team has an extraordinary resume with experience provided from many of the returning players. When recruiting new players they look to improve the roster.

Although seven new players seems like a lot, Sports Information Director Steve Connolly said, “This is a fair and standard number of JC transfers.”


Connolly reiterated that the East Bay water polo does a good job in the recruiting process. The water polo team has a broad range of athletes from the Bay Area, out of state, and out of country. Many athletes make a great effort in creating exposure for themselves, which plays into factor for recruiting decisions.

“We have players from Hawaii, Australia, Bay Area, and LA,” Connolly said.

Connolly also mentioned the Pioneers already have a good share of players from Australia on the team, since Coach Cooper is from there.
“Lisa has a good connection and pipeline with the clubs over there,” Connolly said.

While the team will work on improving those grey areas for next season, their success looks quite promising with power house Victoria Dettloff filling in the roster.

Dettloff, a transferring junior from San Joaquin Delta College finished her junior college campaign with 46 assists, and has scored over 70 goals. Dettloff is also an All-American, who led the California Community College Athletic Association in steals.

According to Assistant Sports Information Director Scott Chisholm, Coach Cooper’s first comments regarding Dettloff were how versatile of a player she is. Cooper stated that she is able to play at both ends of the pool. The water polo program is very enthusiastic about her performance for next season.

Complementing Dettloff will be Mackenzie Kaplan, and Kristin Boston, both incoming juniors from American River College. The two come from a very competitive background, as they played in the Big 8 Conference.

The Pioneers have also scored three teammates from Los Angeles Valley College, who will have no problem blending in with the team chemistry. Savannah Simmons, Sabrina Hatzer, and Nayiri Kechichian will be making their way from Southern California to the hill this year to accompany the water polo team.

Hatzer, a large asset to her previous team contributed to four crucial goals in helping her team achieve their first tournament title in 11 years.

Kechichian and Hatzer played water polo together at Crescenta Valley High School making their skill set and cohesiveness a tough match up for other colleges in the division.

The Pioneers receive local talent from Fremont, Katelyn Clark, an incoming sophomore that will play for the Pioneers next season. She attended Washington High School and then played one year with the Renegades at Ohlone College.

The Pioneers will have a young team, along with a dynamite lineup to choose from, as they prepare for next season’s play.

“The special thing about us, is we recruit from all over the place,” stated Connolly.