Five Stanford women honored on All-America water polo teams


Five Stanford women's water polo student-athletes have been named to the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-America Teams. Seniors Jessica Steffens and Kelly Eaton were each named to the first team, junior Amber Oland and sophomore Melissa Seidemann were named to the second team and freshman Annika Dries earned a third-team nod.

Other local players named to the All-America team included Sacred Heart Prep grad Adriana Vogt of San Jose State (third team), Palo Alto High grad Phoebe Champion of Princeton (honorable mention) and Sacred Heart Prep grad KK Clark of UCLA (honorable mention).

The announcement on Thursday marked the third All-America nod for Eaton, a graduate of Menlo-Atherton High, while Oland, Seidemann and Steffens each earned their second selections.

Eaton, who finished second on the team with 51 goals in 2010, previously had earned third-team and honorable mention recognition, and was named to the first team for the first time in her career. Fellow senior Steffens, who scored 17 goals and was the team's defensive anchor in the field at the two-meter spot, scored her second straight first-team selection.

Both Eaton and Steffens were named to the All-MPSF first team in May. On the year, Eaton was twice named MPSF Player of the Week.

A first-team selection last season, Seidemann led the Cardinal in scoring for the second year in a row in 2010, finding the back of the cage 54 times. In May she was named to the All-MPSF Third Team.

Oland, the Cardinal's third-year goalie, finished in the top half of the conference with 7.05 saves per game and a goals-against average of just 4.55. She earned an MPSF Player of the Week honor in April after a standout effort in an overtime victory against top-ranked USC.

In her first year on The Farm, Dries, a two-meter standout, tied for third on the team with 35 goals in 2010. Her performances in a strong rookie season helped earn her a pair of MPSF Newcomer of the Week honors.

The Cardinal quintet helped lead Stanford to a national runnerup finish in 2010. Behind their efforts, the Cardinal posted a 26-3 overall record and captured its first MPSF regular-season title since 2007 with a perfect 7-0 conference mark.

In other water polo news:

Stanford women's assistant coach Susan Ortwein was named to the coaching staff of the USA Senior National "B" Team on Wednesday. Ortwein, who in 2010 completed her 13th season on the Cardinal staff, will serve in the same capacity with the U.S. team as it begins immediate preparation for next summer's 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China.

Ortwein joins the rest of the U.S. "B" Team staff that was named Wednesday, which is led by Michigan head coach Matt Anderson, a former coach on the Peninsula. Joining Ortwein as an assistant coach is UCLA head coach Brandon Brooks.

Stanford has turned in a top-three national finish in each of Ortwein's 13 years on The Farm, highlighted by the team winning the 2002 national championship. Most recently, the Cardinal reached the National Collegiate Championship game for the seventh time in 2010.

Ortwein also serves as a head coach for the Stanford Water Polo Club, which she has led to three national championships.

In 1998, Ortwein was named an assistant coach for the U.S. Senior National Team as it prepared for the first-ever women's water polo tournament at the 2000 Olympic Games. There, the U.S. captured the silver medal.

Ortwein also played for the U.S. Senior National Team from 1991-92, helping the U.S. to a third-place finish at the 1991 FINA World Cup.

This week, Ortwein coached the defending champion Stanford Red women's team to a fifth-place finish at the 2010 USAWP Women's 20-Under Nationals in Orange County. The team wrapped up its five-game week with a 10-1 victory over Diablo on Thursday at Capistrano Valley High.

Stanford went 4-1 in the tourney, losing only to second-place SoCal Black (6-4) on Wednesday. Stanford beat Long Beach Water Polo Club (14-1), topped SoCal Gold (16-2), defeated Diablo (8-5) and bumped San Diego Shores (10-4).

Ortwein and her staff were back at the pool on Friday for the opening day of the Open Nationals in Orange County. The tourney runs through Sunday.

Stanford opened with an 11-5 victory over Great Lakes and followed that with a 12-4 win over SET, both at Capistrano Valley High. Stanford will play Los Angeles Water Polo Club on Saturday in Round 3.

Stanford's roster includes Kate Baldoni, Kandis Cononica, Pallavi Menon, Alyssa Lo, Alexis Lee, Vee Dunlevie, Kim Krueger, Jillian Garton, Victoria Kennedy, Kaitlyn Lo, Cassie Churnside, Monica Coughlan, Cassie Cyckoff and Lizzie Peiros.

-- Palo Alto Online/Stanford Sports Information

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