Trojans Add Seven Standouts For 2016-17|
Nov. 19, 2015
The USC women's water polo program welcomes a solid set of seven new Trojans to the pool for 2016-17, head coach Jovan Vavic is proud to announce. This week, USC signed on a well-rounded and powerful group of Southern California stars, with national letters of intent signed by Sawyer Belville, Kaylee Brownsberger, Alaina Cousineau, Denise Mammolito, Holly Parker, Elise Stein and Kelsey Tyler.
"This is a a class that really has the potential to be a part of a championship team," Vavic said. "They all are really committed to water polo, and they give us a very solid foundation for the future."
Connections run deep with this group. Cousineau, Stein and Tyler have all had older siblings play for the USC water polo program. What's more, Belville, Mammolito and Stein have all been teammates at the club level for CHAWP, as have Cousineau and Parker at SET.
A product of Ayala High School in Chino Hills, Sawyer Belville was the Sierra League's top scorer and a 2014 All-CIF First Team selection. A driver, Vavic anticipates the lefty to serve a strong role as a playmaker for the Trojans.
"Sawyer is a lefty and a hard worker," Vavic said. "A team player, she's a good passer and setup player. She's also reliable and very competitive."
Kaylee Brownsberger will come to Troy from Mira Costa High School, where she earned all-league second team honors.
"Kaylee is a center who is a strong and tough girl," Vavic said. "She is physical and is really somebody who can help us, because she's a grinder."
Alaina Cousineau follows in the footsteps of older sister Mary, who also played for the Women of Troy. A San Clemente native, Cousineau has earned plenty of honors for her help in leading San Clemente High to the 2014 CIF Division II final.
"Alaina is another great team player. She's a fast and explosive driver who sees the course well. She really makes other people around her better. Alan has constant movement and is a great water polo thinker. She's also good under pressure."
Rancho Cucamonga High School's Denise Mammolito punched up 110 goals and 50 assists in her junior season, bringing proven firepower to Troy when when splashes down as a Trojan.
"Denise is very long, about 6-2, with long arms," Vavic said. "She's a great ouside shooter, and she's a scorer. become more than that in college. She's an attacker, She's very completive and has no fear."
Adding to the Trojans goalkeeping corps is Holly Parker, who hails from Laguna Beach High School. A First Team All-CIF honoree, Parker adds a depth charge to USC's strength in the cage.
"Holly is going to give all our goalies a run for their money," Vavic said. "She's a very talented goalie who already has good fundamentals. It's great to have another talented goalie who can challenge the others for a starting spot."
Young sister of Michelle and Grant -- both standout players for USC -- Elise Stein will bring her own set of skills to USC. Another Palm Desert High School product, the youngest Stein was an all-league and all-CIF honoree.
"Elise is another shooter," Vavic said. "She's fast and very good in the fast break. She's also good on 6-on-5s. You can't leave her open because she shoots the ball hard and gets up on her legs. I feel Elise will really develope into an excellent player."
Wrapping up the powerful pile of 2016 newcomers will be Kelsey Tyler, whose sister Mikaela also played at USC. Tyler comes to Troy from Orange Lutheran High School, where she has earned All-CIF and all-county honors.
"Kelsey is an excellent setup player. She sees the course really well and is always willing to make an extra pass and is looking for the open player. She's a good driver and an excellent team player."
Overall, this crop of brand-new Women of Troy is sure to add to the talent pool that Vavic has built in pursuit of another national championship.
"It's really a class that's going to add to the girls from this season," Vavic said. "We really have players in different positions -- excellent outside shooters, great passers, a lefty and a goalie.
"Overall it's a very versatile group of girls. The group we have now is really committed to water polo, and these girls are very similar. They are committed to getting better. It's a very competitive group. It's not easy to find people who are really into winning, and I think this group these girls wants to win."