Two members of the undefeated USC women’s water polo team (12-0) received accolades on Tuesday for their recent performances. Freshman driver Anni Espar was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation player of the week and junior two-meter Hannah Buckling was named MPSF newcomer of the week.
Espar finished with 10 goals in the UCI Invitational over the weekend, including four goals in the tournament championship game against the formerly No. 1 Stanford Cardinal. USC’s 13-10 victory in that match made the Women of Troy the new No. 1 team in the country.
Buckling, meanwhile, added three goals against Stanford, further helping USC’s cause. She scored all three of the goals in a row for the Women of Troy and finished with five for the tournament.
Buckling was eligible for the newcomer award despite being a junior because she transferred from Sydney University in Australia prior to this season. She was named the Australian female junior water polo player of the year in 2012.
Espar also had an impressive resume leading up to her newest award for USC. As a member of Spain’s water polo team in the 2012 Summer Olympic games, she finished as the second-leading scorer overall. Her team ended up winning a silver medal, falling to the United States in the championship by a score of 8-5.
In the UCI Invitational, the USC women’s water polo team defeated Pacific, San Diego State and UCLA before facing off against the Cardinal, where Espar and Buckley both shined in USC’s tournament-sealing win.
USC will next face off against the Cal Golden Bears in Berkeley on March 2 before returning home for a matchup with the Arizona State Sun Devils on March 9.