Thursday, November 23, 2017


For fans wishing to attend the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Water Polo Championship on Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, at the University of Southern California’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center, tickets are available online.
To order tickets, CLICK HERE.
The two semifinals will occur at 3:00 p.m. and 5:12 p.m. Pacific on Saturday, December 2, prior to the National Championship game on Sunday, December 3, at 3:00 p.m.
Fans should remember that times are subject to change and all tickets are general admission
At this time only All Session (both days) tickets are available:
Adult – $35 
Single Day tickets are only available day of the event.
**Additional fees may apply. All sales are final. No Refunds. No Exchanges. No Cancellations.**

Happy Birthday Anastasia

Anastasia Valimaki
Suncoast High

The Spirit of Thanksgiving....

Water polo captain & La Salle signee Sabrina Hoffmeister with fellow St. Thomas Aquinas students who unselfishly started off Thanksgiving by delivering baskets to families in need.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ransom Everglade's Ashleigh Johnson Going Pro In Italy


 Former Princeton University goalie Ashleigh Johnson (Miami, Fla./Ransom Everglades) will join the Italian women’s water polo club team Associazione Sportiva Orizzonte Catania Waterpolo, also known as Geymonat Orizzonte for sponsorship reasons, from Catania
Founded in 1985, Orizzonte is an eight-time LEN Champion (1994, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008) and 19-time Italian Serie A  Champion (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) as the team has dominated the Italian championship in the past two decades, winning every edition between 1992 and 2011 except for 2007.
The 2017 Cutino Award winner as the best collegiate women’s water polo player, Johnson will go down as one of the greatest athletes in Princeton history as she also picked up the C. Otto von Kienbusch Award as Princeton’s top senior female athlete earlier this week. The senior, who has twice been named the top women’s water polo player in the world, is one of two Princeton athletes ever to win an Olympic gold medal and then return to compete as a Tiger, along with Bill Bradley ’65. Johnson was the goalie on the United States team that won gold at last summer’s Rio Olympics.
The 2016 Women’s Sports Foundation Team Athlete of the Year, Johnson finished her senior season with a 22-4 record, 300 saves and a .693 save percentage in leading the Tigers to a runner-up finish at the 2017 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Championship. Further, she led the team with 54 steals and added 16 assists. She earned honors such as Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Championships All-Tournament First Team, CWPA All-Conference First Team, four-time CWPA Defensive Player of the Week. She finished her career as Princeton’s all-time leader in saves (1,362), 100 career victories and as 19-time CWPA Defensive Player of the Week accolades.  Overall, she received 25 weekly awards from the league office.
The only player in the history of intercollegiate varsity water polo to earn Rookie, Defensive Player and Player of the Week accolades from a league for a performance during the same week, she concluded a five-year tenure at Princeton due to taking a year off to anchor the United States Olympic Team to a Gold Medal at the 2016 game with 1,362 saves, 59 assists, 191 steals and a 100-17 record.
Prior to departing Princeton to join Team USA full-time for the run-up to the Olympic Games, she helped the Tigers of Princeton to a 31-5 overall record, a CWPA Championship title and a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament berth en route to CWPA Player of the Year honors in 2015. Logging 771:54 minutes in 27 appearances, she posted a 22-5 mark with a 0.709 save percentage to earn Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) All-America Second Team honors. Recording double-digit saves in 16 of her outings, Johnson earned NCAA All-Tournament honors after breaking both the single-game and tournament records for saves with 22 and 50, respectively.
The season followed an ACWPC All-America Honorable Mention sophomore year (2014) in which recorded a 28-2 mark with 367 saves, seven assists and 43 steals in helping the Tigers notch a runner-up finish at the CWPA Championship.  As a freshman in 2013, she powered Princeton to a CWPA Championship with a 28-6 record, 366 saves 22 assists and 47 steals to garner the league and CWPA Championship Rookie of the Year awards prior to earning ACWPC All-America Third Team status.
A two-time semifinalist and 2017 finalist for the Sullivan Award, the top award presented to an amateur athlete in the United States, after previously earning recognition last year and the 2016 Women’s Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year, Johnson made social and Olympic history during the past 12 months as she anchored the United States to the Gold Medal and claimed Goalie of the Tournament honors in wrapping up the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with a 6-0 mark in six starts. The first black woman to make the United States women’s water polo Olympic team, she is the second CWPA goalie to lead the United States to a medal as former 2012 Olympic Goalie of the Tournament Armstrong guided her nation to Silver (2008) and Gold (2012) medals.
The United States, which outscored its foes by a 85-32 count over the duration of the games with victories over 2012 Silver Medalist Spain (11-4 W on Tuesday, August 9), China (12-4 W on Thursday, August 11), Hungary (11-6 on Saturday, August 13), Brazil (13-3 W on Monday, August 15) and Hungary (14-10 W on Wednesday, August 17) prior to a 12-5 Gold Medal game rout of Italy for a 8.84 margin of victory (14.17 goals for/5.33 goals against), leaned on their All-America and 2015 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) Player of the Year goalie to lead the way.
Facing the Italians for the sports penultimate prize, Johnson played 29:28 and held a 11-4 lead before exiting to the bench in order for back-up Sami Hill to get time in cage during the Gold Medal game, Johnson dominated the contest from the opening sprint to the final horn in stopping nine-of-13 shots-on-goal (.692 percentage) with a three-for-three performance on action shots, a five-for-eight rate on shots from outside five-meters, a one-for-one job on penalty shots and zero-for-one clip on counter-attack chances.
Overall, she wrapped up the six-game run against the remainder of the world’s best teams with 51 saves off 77 shots-on-goal (.662 save percentage) with 17 steals and three assists as she turned aside eight-of-12 shots with two steals in 27:10 of playing time against China after stopping 11-of-15 shots-on-goal, including a five-meter penalty shot, with a game-high four steals versus Spain in a complete game win. She turned away nine-of-15 shots faced (.600 save percentage) with a game-high two steals in the first meeting against Hungary and stopped all six shots-on-goal Brazil fired against her, dished out a game-high two assists and collected a team best two steals in three quarters in a quarterfinal rout of Brazil.  In the semifinals versus Hungary, she turned away eight-of-18 shots (.444 save percentage) on goal and collected three steals to set-up a Gold Medal clash versus Italy.
Arguably the most dominating goalie in the history of Olympic water polo regardless of gender and era, Johnson set the tone for the United States championship campaign by decimating offenses as she held Spain to a four-for-21 mark from the field (.190 shooting percentage); permitted four-for-26 shots (.154 shooting percentage) from China to slip past her; allowed six-of-29 attempts (.207 shooting percentage) to meet the twine against Hungary and held Brazil scoreless with a zero-for-20 line prior to being beat on 10-of-25 attempts in the Hungary rematch.
Following a Gold Medal game in which Italy was capable of putting away only four-of-25 shots (.160 shooting percentage) against Johnson, she concluded her time in Rio by limiting her foes to a .192 shooting percentage (28-for-146).  It is believed to be the lowest shooting percentage allowed by a goalie regardless of gender in the history of Olympic water polo.
The victory for the United States was historical on a number of levels as Team USA reached the Gold Medal game for the third consecutive Olympics and the fourth time in the history of the sport dating back to 2000 in Sydney, Australia.  The 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist (8-5 W vs. Spain in London, England), the United States becomes the first nation in the history of women’s Olympic water polo competition to capture two gold medals as the Americans previously finished as the Silver Medalist in both 2008 (9-8 L vs. the Netherlands in Beijing, China) and 2000 (4-3 L vs. Australia, Sydney) with a Bronze Medal performance in 2004 (6-5 W vs. Australia, Athens, Greece). Australia (2000), Italy (2004) and the Netherlands (2008) are the only teams to capture the sport’s ultimate prize on the biggest stage.
She achieved success prior to the Olympics as well.
Johnson helped the United States National Team claim its third consecutive FINA World League Super Final title and 10th overall. The team won each of its six matches in the tournament at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China, scoring an average of 13.5 goals per contest. Johnson made 45 saves in her four appearances with her best performance coming in the semifinals as she stopped 13 shots against China.  In the tournament title tilt, she turned aside nine scoring tries as Team USA netted a 13-9 defeat of Spain.
In addition, she stopped eight shots as the United States dispatched Australia and former Hartwick College standout Bronwen Knox, 7-5, to capture the 2016 Kunshan Cup in Kunshan, China.
Arguably the best women’s international player currently in the game, Johnson led Team USA to an 11-6 comeback win against Italy to take gold at the Olympic Qualification Tournament at Groenhovenbad in Gouda, Netherlands in late March.  She concluded the event with 54 stops in going 7-0 following seven save performances against Japan (18-1 W) and Canada (14-7 W), a 12 save total versus Spain (8-6 W), nine saves against Greece (15-7 W), four stops in a 25-1 manhandling of South Africa and five more blocks in a 19-0 rout of France.  She did not play in a 13-7 semifinal win versus Spain as Sami Hill notched the win for her team’s other victory during the event.
Prior to the Olympic Qualifier, Johnson racked up 62 saves against 21 goals allowed with 10 steals and a pair of assists in leading the United States to the championship at the 2016 FINA Intercontinental Tournament hosted at the Lewisville ISD Westside Aquatic Center.
The United States National Team came off a banner 2015 where they finished with a record of 41-6 while earning gold at the Pan American Games, FINA World League Super Final and FINA World Championship.  For its performance, the USA National Team earned 2015 FINA Female Water Polo Team of the Year status.
Team USA experienced a significant advantage between the pipes in both international tournaments as Johnson was named the 2015 Player of the Year.
The award came after Johnson, who missed the 2016 with Princeton to train with the U.S. National Team for the 2016 Olympics, made 12 saves-on-16 shots as the United States Women’s National Team made history by downing the Netherlands, 5-4, to claim the 2015 FINA World Championships title game in Kazan, Russia on August 7.
It marked the fourth FINA World Championship for the United States as the team previously claimed gold in 2003 (Barcelona), 2007 (Melbourne) and 2009 (Rome). The last time Team USA earned a medal at the FINA World Championship outside of winning Gold was in 2005 in Montreal when the team received Silver.
Further, the United States became the first nation in the history of the sport to reign as the women’s Olympic, World, Junior World, Youth World, World Cup, World League and Pan Am Champions at the same time.
Johnson, who entered the game at 4-1 following prior starts against Brazil, Italy, Hungary, Spain and Australia, concluded the World Championships with 66 saves-on-100 attempts following a 14 save performance against Brazil, eight stops versus Italy, three saves in relief duty during the defeat of Japan, four stops against Hungary, 15 saves in a quarterfinal defeat of Spain and 10 stops against Australia. For her performance, Johnson was named the Goalie of the Tournament.
Prior to the 2015 FINA Championship, Johnson starred for Team USA at the Pan American Championships, the Kushan Cup and the FINA World Super League Final.
Helping the Stars & Stripes to a gold medal at the Kushan Cup, Johnson racked up 16 stops in a pair of appearances, which included a 10-save effort in the final against the Netherlands.
Seeing action in all six FINA World Super League Final matches, Johnson registered 67 saves.
After turning away 12 shots against Russia in the quarterfinals, Johnson made 10 stops in the semifinals against Netherlands before tallying 14 saves in a championship win over Australia.
She posted 12 saves as the United States downed Canada, 13-4, to claim the 2015 Pan American Games title on July 14 at the Atos Markham Centre in Toronto.
In a showdown of North America’s two best women’s water polo programs, Johnson stopped 12-of-16 shots, including a five-meter penalty shot, while allowing all four Canadian goals on power-play opportunities.
Johnson raised her tournament statistics to 17 saves, three steals and an assist in two appearances during the American’s five games in running away with the Pan American championship.  She previously notched five saves, three steals and an assist in an 18-3 defeat of Cuba.



Happy Birthday Levente

Levente Varga
Boca Raton High
St. Francis College
Member: Hungarian Connection

2017 All Tri-County Player of the Year

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Things To Be Thankful For...

Today the 2015 photo below from Lake Brantley was circulated on Facebook by Margie Tola Hathaway. When I saw it I was overcome by thoughts of being thankful....maybe it's the season, whatever. None-the-less we all owe Coach Ann Plitnick our gratitude. Hundreds of young children have passed through her South Florida Aquatics Swim program as well as her Dania Beach Hurricane Water Polo Club where she nurtured, taught and treated every one equally.

My initial meeting with Coach Ann was memorable as she put a smile on my son Dominick's face, as a parent could I ask for anything more? Driving home one early evening we passed the South Broward High pool and my son noticed a group of children swimming then blurted out as children do, "Dad, can I join a swim team?" I quickly thought...."Why not? He was 8, had been surfing for roughly 3 years so what the heck". I made a u-turn and introduced the two of us to Coach Ann, who told us to come for a tryout tomorrow at 6:30. The next day we showed up with Dom wearing his knee length surfing jams (we were clueless about speedos at that point). As I sat on the bleachers Coach Ann with stopwatch in hand instructed Dominick to swim up and back (50 yards). At the end of his 50 free he climbed out of the pool, spoke briefly to Coach Ann, high fived her, then came running over to me. Out of breath he excitedly said, "Dad, Coach Ann said I made the team, I made the Little Dogs." Unknown to us at the time the Little Dogs was the beginner team, everyone made it....but did it matter? My son was happy & pumped!

Dominick went on to become the Broward County Middle School 50 & 100 free gold medalist represending Attuck's Middle carving close to a minute off of his first 50 time; as well as unquestionably the best freshman goalie ever to play in the tri-county representing Hollywood Hills, retiring before his sophomore season. Istvan Csendes was Dom's first water polo coach but the sport itself was introduced via Ann's club.

So even though Coach Ann has me blocked on Facebook for close to a decade :) I'm very thankful to have met her and will always support her clubs. 

Phone: 954-985-4401