Seattle, WA -- The Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) has released the 2019 Women’s Collegiate Club All-Conference Teams today and includes 9 from the University of Washington out of a possible 16 for the Northwest Division.
The All-Conference selections, including the Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year in each of the league’s 15 women’s collegiate club divisions, are based on nominations and votes from the membership in each grouping. Normally, 14 players and 1 coach are selected to each division’s All-Conference Team (seven First Team, seven Second Team, coach of the year), however, ties occur and are accounted for with additional athletes added onto the Second Team if necessary.
The 2019 All-Conference honors mark the 4th year in a row that the Huskies have claimed the Northwest Division's Most Valuable Player Award (Flanagan 2016, Lipps 2017, Stone 2018,) with this year's award going to senior and captain, Mary Elizabeth Ward (#6, San Rafael, CA).
In addition, first-year goalie, Shelby Smith (#1, San Diego, CA), was named to the Northwest First Team All-Conference as well as last year's conference MVP, Karli Stone (#4, Tacoma, WA), and defensive stalwart, Jalene Weatherholt (#17, San Jose, CA).
Second Team All-Conference honors for the Huskies went to first-time recipients, Kellie MacPhee (#2, Encinitas, CA), Frances Dizard (#3, Seattle, WA), Katie Snell (#8, Cupertino, CA), and Hannah Sokol (#18, Arroyo Grande, CA). Snell and Sokol mark only the second time ever that a University of Washington B team player has made the All-Conference team (Tinsley 2017). Rudy Ramirez and the rest of the University of Washington coaching staff were named Coach of the Year for the conference for the third consecutive year.
You can view the complete list of the Collegiate Water Polo Association's 2019 Women’s Collegiate Club All-Conference Teams here.
Mary Elizabeth Ward, #6 - Most Valuable Player
Captain and senior, Mary Elizabeth Ward (or MEW for short), has won the Northwest MVP award for her first time in her career. This also marks the 4th time she has made the All-Conference Team including 3 First Team honors and 1 Second Team. MEW is one of the lead attackers on the team and finishes the season with 44 assists, 68 steals, 21 ejections earned and 80 goals.
Shelby Smith, #1 - First Team All-Conference Goalie
Freshman, Shelby Smith, has only been playing water polo for two years and only started playing the goalie position in November of 2018. However, you can't argue she didn't have the background for it as both parents played at UC San Diego where her mom, Dawn Smith, was a goalie for the Tritons. Shelby finishes the season with 157 saves and a 62% block rate, along with 9 assists and 21 steals.
Karli Stone, #4 - First Team All-Conference
Captain, Karli Stone, last year's conference MVP, has once again been named to the Northwest First Team All-Conference for her third consecutive year. The junior also broke the program record with 235 goals in just 3 years. She will be graduating in June a year early, but in coming back to the UW as a graduate student next year. Karli is a utility on the team and finishes the season with 42 assists, 71 steals, 24 ejections earned and 86 goals.
Jalene Weatherholt, #17 - First Team All-Conference
Senior, Jalene Weatherholt, has once again been recognized for her amazing defense and has been named to the Northwest All-Conference team for the third consecutive year, which includes 2 First Team honors and 1 Second Team. Jalene played a hybrid role for the team this year thanks in part to her incredible speed and stamina as she was able to play both center and center defender. As center defender she only allowed 7 goals from center all year. She finishes the season with 10 assists, 16 steals, 12 ejections earned and 17 goals.
Frances Dizard, #3 - Second Team All-Conference
Sophomore, Frances Dizard, has been an incredible addition to the Huskies this year. A local standout from Seattle, transferred to the UW after first starting out playing at Loyola Marymount University. She had an immediate impact on the team and has been recognized for both her stout defense, and ability to facilitate the offense on the counterattack. She finishes her first season with 25 assists, 24 steals, 16 ejections earned and 28 goals.
Kellie MacPhee, #2 - Second Team All-Conference
Mathematics Ph.d candidate, Kellie MacPhee, wraps up a beautiful career as she finished her last year of collegiate club water polo after seven years (3 with Dartmouth College as undergrad, and 4 at the UW.) The All-Conference recognition has been long overdue but nonetheless the center-defender went out with a bang this year as she finishes with 15 assists, 25 steals, 3 ejections and 20 goals, which marks her highest goal count ever as a Husky.
Katie Snell, #8 - Second Team All-Conference
B Team Captain, Katie Snell's recognition as a member of the Northwest All-Conference Team marks only the second time a University of Washington B Team player has been bestowed with that honor. But the Sophomore absolutely earned it as she led the B Team to their highest place finish ever in the Northwest Division. This resulted in Katie's promotion at the end of the regular season to the A Team where she tallied a goal and ejection to go along with 3 assists and 2 steals at the Collegiate Club National Championships. She finishes the season with 9 assists, 10 steals, 6 ejections earned and 18 goals.
Hannah Sokol, #18 - Second Team All-Conference
First year player, Hannah Sokol, made a return to water polo after a 6 year hiatus from the sport. In her debut season, she led the B Team in assists, goals, steals, field blocks and ejections earned. She even played a pivotal role for the A Team in the Northwest Championship game against rival, University of Oregon, as she held onto the ball against tremendous pressure, until the final seconds of the shot clock; to only give Oregon 7 seconds left in the game to try and tie it up. She finishes the season promoted to A Team along with 10 assists, 19 steals, 24 ejections earned, and 26 goals.
Rudy Ramirez & Coaching Staff - Coach of the Year Northwest Conference
For the 3rd consecutive season, the University of Washington coaching staff has been recognized for leading the program through another top 10 national finish, and keeping the program's Northwest consecutive win streak alive since January 2016. This season marks the 5th year for head coach, Rudy Ramirez and assistant coach, Stephanie Curran, as well as the 4th year for assistant head coach, Gregory Mercer.
Danny LePard was the new goalie coach this year and instrumental in the development of goalie, Shelby Smith. Mike Kelly of Narrows Water Polo Club and John Jacobson of Northwest Water Polo Club also joined this year to provide one-on-one instruction to players as well as provided additional scrimmage and practice opportunities with their clubs. The coaching staff guided the Huskies to a 28-3 record and a No. 6 national finish.