Jan. 21, 2011
Michigan Kickoff Central
STANFORD, Calif. - The top-ranked Stanford women's water polo team opens up the 2011 season Saturday morning against No. 14 Hartwick at the Michigan Kickoff in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Cardinal play a doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 21 and 22, opening against Hartwick at 6:15 a.m. PT Saturday morning. Stanford concludes the first day with a 1:50 p.m. PT contest against No. 6 Loyola Marymount.
Sunday's action opens with the Cardinal facing No. 13 Indiana at 6:35 a.m. PT before closing the trip against its host, No. 8 Michigan, at 11:40 a.m. PT.
Stanford Enters 2011 As Preseason No. 1
The Stanford women's water polo team enters the 2011 season as the preseason No. 1 in the Varsity Top 20 National Poll, as well as the popular pick to win the 2011 MPSF title according to the MPSF Preseason Coaches' Poll. The announcement marked the second straight season that Stanford was the preseason favorite in both polls.
Stanford returns two of the nation's top two-meter players in 2011 as junior Melissa Seidemann and sophomore Annika Dries are back on The Farm following All-America campaigns a season ago. Seidemann, a Walnut Creek, Calif. native, has led the Cardinal in scoring in each of her first two seasons, scoring 59 goals as a freshman in 2009 and 54 goals last year. Her efforts in helping the Cardinal to the National Collegiate title game last year earned Seidemann a spot on the ACWPC All-America Second Team.
Dries, meanwhile, is coming off of a rookie season in which she tied for third on the team with 35 goals. That performance landed her spots on the ACWPC All-America Third Team as well as the All-MPSF Third Team and All-Freshman Team.
Oland Back For Her Fourth Year In The Cage
Plenty Of Support To Offer
Returning for her fourth season as Stanford's go-to in the cage is senior Amber Oland. Last year, Oland was named to the ACWPC All-America Second Team following a campaign in which she averaged 7.05 saves per game and boasted a goals-against average of just 4.26. Over her three seasons on The Farm, Oland has anchored the Cardinal defense to one national title game appearance as well as a trio of top-three national finishes.
Stanford's additional firepower and defense is bolstered by the return in 2011 of goal scorers junior Pallavi Menon
(35 goals in 2010), senior Kim Krueger
(30), junior Alyssa Lo
(22) and junior Cassie Churnside
(18), as well as sophomore goalie Kate Baldoni
(4.26 saves per game, 2.06 goals-against average in 19 appearances).
Menon, Krueger and Lo provide the Cardinal with a perimeter presence to compliment Seidemann and Dries inside, as the six players combined to score 194 of Stanford's 340 goals in 2010.
In the cage, Baldoni proved a capable backup to the All-American pick Oland, making 81 saves over 33 periods of action.
Another Solid Freshman Class Awaits Its Opportunity
Stanford welcomes a five-member freshman class to the pool in 2011, as drivers Kaley Dodson (Seal Beach, Calif./Los Alamitos), Kaitlyn Lo (San Anselmo, Calif./Sir Francis Drake), Lexie Ross (Laguna Beach, Calif./Laguna Beach) and Kelsey Suggs (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Tesoro) along with two-meter defender Lizzie Peiros (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo) join the squad.