Women's Water Polo: Trio Of Seawolves Garner 2012 WWPA All-Conference Honors

vball_honorees.jpgSonoma State junior goalie Ariel Lockshaw was named as the 2012 Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Co-Newcomer of the Year, highlighting Tuesday's release of the WWPA's annual end of the season awards voted on by the coaches in the league. In addition to being honored as the Co-Newcomer of the Year, Lockshaw wrapped up second team All-WWPA accolades, while junior Laura Kunz and freshman Brittny Hummel were selected to the Honorable Mention and Freshman teams, respectively.

It is just the second time in the program's 10-year history that three Sonoma State players were awarded WWPA postseason recognition -- Samantha Mullins (first team), Lysa Lombard and Laurel Stricklin (both second team) led the 2009 squad to its highest-ever WWPA tournament finish (fourth place).

Lockshaw was a force in the cage this season for Sonoma State, racking up 305 saves, while allowing 271 goals in her first season on the team. Her 305 saves lead the nation in that category, and is just 22 saves shy of the program's single-season record. She also tallied 40 steals and eight assists. In 29 matches this season, the Placentia, Calif. native recorded double-digit saves 18 times, including a season-high 17-save performance in the season opener against Fresno Pacific on Jan. 15. Just over two months later on Mar. 16, Lockshaw held Cal State San Bernardino to just three goals, the lowest number of goals that she has given up this season. Just last week, Lockshaw earned the WWPA's Co-Player of the Week award, as she helped the Seawolves to a 2-2 record at the Santa Clara Invitational, including wins over conference-foes Colorado State and Cal State San Bernardino.

Kunz, who is in her third year with Sonoma State, has scored six goals on 41 attempts while playing in all 29 regular season matches, which helped her land a spot on the Honorable Mention list. She had a season-high two goals on Feb. 12 in a narrow 9-7 loss to Marist College. The junior out of Sacramento has accounted for 38 assists, 60 steals while drawing 33 knockouts.

Hummel, a 2011 graduate of San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, appeared in 22 matches this season and netted 12 goals on 32 attempts, in addition to handing out a team-leading 20 assists. She added 15 steals, 10 ejections earned and four field blocks.

Sonoma State (9-20, 5-10 WWPA) will head into this weekend's WWPA Women's Championship Tournament, hosted by UC San Diego at Canyonview Aquatic Center in La Jolla, as the No. 7 seed and it will face host and No. 2 seed UC San Diego on Friday at 4:30 p.m. For additional tournament information, visit the UC San Diego web site by clicking here.

2012 Western Water Polo Association Women's Water Polo Honors

Player of the Year: Casey Flacks (DR, Sr., LMU).
Co-Newcomers of the Year: Ariel Lockshaw (GK, Jr., Sonoma State), Ashleigh Bandimere (UTL, Fr., Santa Clara).

First-Team WWPA All-Conference

Jessica Browning (2MO, Jr., CSU Bakersfield)
Casey Flacks (DR, Sr., LMU)
Alexandra Honny (DR, So., LMU)
Sarah Lizotte (UTL, So., UC San Diego)
Claire Pierce (UTL, Jr., Cal State East Bay)
Elise Ponce (GK, Sr., LMU)
Nikki Smart (ATK, Sr., Cal State Monterey Bay)

Second-Team WWPA All-Conference

Kirsten Bates (C, Sr., UC San Diego)
Kimberly Benedetti (2M, Sr., LMU)
Kallie Berry (D, Sr., Colorado State)
Laura Espinosa (2M, Sr., Santa Clara)
Ariel Lockshaw (GK, Jr., Sonoma State)
Sam Shead (2MD, Jr., CSU Bakersfield)
Misty Vu (UTL, Jr., Cal State San Bernardino)

Honorable Mention WWPA All-Conference

Marina Allen (DR, Sr., Santa Clara)
Erica Crain (UT, Sr., Cal State East Bay)
Taylor Hanson (UTL, So., CSU Bakersfield)
Laura Kunz (UTL, Jr., Sonoma State)
Erin Manke (DR, Jr., LMU)
Shannon McKenzie (DR, Jr., CSU Bakersfield)
Jayme Pekarske (GK, Sr., Cal State East Bay)
Caroline Young (UTL, Jr., Colorado State)

WWPA All-Freshman Team

Ashleigh Bandimere (UTL, Santa Clara)
Kelcy Barott (C, Colorado State)
Alex Bayer (GK, CSU Bakersfield)
Mackenzie Beck (UTL, LMU)
Rachel Brooks (UTL, UC San Diego)
Brittny Hummel (UTL, Sonoma State)
Laura Lopez (DR, LMU)
Janelle Shelby (2MO, CSU Bakersfield)

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