Sports

Stanford freshman highlights MPSF water polo honorees

 

Freshman Kat Klass was named Newcomer of the Year to headline Stanford's six honorees when the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation announced its postseason women's water polo awards on Tuesday afternoon.

Jamie Neushul and Jordan Raney were named to the All-MPSF first team, Julia Hermann and Anna Yelizarova earned All-MPSF honorable-mention nods and Klass was joined on the list of the best first-year players by fellow freshman Madison Berggren.

Klass becomes Stanford's sixth MPSF Newcomer of the Year award winner, joining Raney (2015), Kiley Neushul (2012), Melissa Seidemann (2009), Amber Oland (2008) and Lauren Silver (2006).

Klass is second on Stanford with 41 total goals, averaging 1.58 per game in 26 outings. Her total is the most for a Stanford freshman since 2013. Klass, who collected four MPSF/Kap7 Newcomer of the Week honors during the year, has scored in a team-high 21 games and put home at least two on 10 occasions.

Neushul and Raney landed on the first team for the first time in their careers. The junior Neushul, who was an All-MPSF honorable-mention selection last season, paces Stanford this year with a career-high 46 goals and 10 hat tricks. She is fourth in the league in goals per game (1.77) and has scored in all but seven of the Cardinal's 26 contests. Neushul, a communication major, is six goals away from reaching 100 in her career.

Raney is one of three underclassmen on the eight-member first team. The sophomore has scored 20 times in 2016, including four at last weekend's MPSF Tournament. She's had five multi-score efforts, including her second career hat trick early in the season against Michigan.

Both Neushul and Raney were also voted to the MPSF All-Tournament team on Tuesday morning.

In her first season of extended action after missing all of last year due to injury, Hermann received her first conference accolade in earning honorable mention. The redshirt sophomore human biology major, who was named MPSF/Kap7 Player of the Week on February 23, is sixth in the league in saves per game (8.62) and seventh in goals against average (5.67). Her 213 total stops are third in the MPSF and the fourth-most for the Cardinal since 2001.

Yelizarova worked her way on to the honorable- mention team following 29 goals in 20 games thus far in 2016. Her goals-per-game average of 1.45 is 15th in conference and the senior computer science major is Stanford's active leader in goals with 135 in her career.

Berggren joined Klass on the All-Newcomer team. She is one of Stanford's eight 20-goal scorers (22) and has five multi-goal efforts, including three hat tricks. Stanford is the only school with multiple players on the MPSF All-Newcomer team.

Next weekend at UCLA, Stanford will go in search of its fifth national title in the past six seasons after earning an at-large berth to its 16th straight NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship. The Cardinal will begin its tournament on May 13 at 1:45 p.m. against UC Santa Barbara (18-12), champion of the Big West.

— Stanford Athletics/Palo Alto Online Sports

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