Nov. 21, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's water polo team has signed five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the fall signing period it was announced recently by head coach Danielle Altman.
Claire Buchanan of Carmichael, Calif., Carly Clark of Westlake Village, Calif., Cailee Kilroy of Santa Barbara, Calif., Kathryn Nelson of Lompoc, Calif. and Michelle Beaudreau of San Mateo, Calif. are all expected to join the Gaucho water polo program for the spring 2008 season.
Claire Buchanan, a two-meter player out of St. Francis High School in Sacramento, Calif., headlines a group of very talented high school student-athletes. In her four seasons as a varsity starter for the Troubadours, Buchanan earned four All-Sacramento Valley League first team honors and was the 2005 league Most Valuable Player. Even more impressive, she earned All-Sac Joaquin Section accolades the last three seasons and was named the 2006 section co-MVP after leading St. Francis to two back-to-back section titles.
A member of American River Water Polo Club, Buchanan earned All-American honors at Senior Nationals and the National Junior Olympics this past summer.
"I think Claire is going to be an excellent addition to the team. She is one of the best all-around offensive players coming out of the senior class this year and is a natural goal scorer. She is going to bring a spark to our team and be a natural leader for our program," said Altman of Buchanan.
Joining Buchanan is Carly Clark of Agoura High School. Clark, who will finish her career at Agoura in the spring, has twice earned All-CIF Division IV honors after leading her team to back-to-back section finals for which she was also named her team's MVP. A two-meter player, Clark has twice earned First Team All-Maramonte League accolades and has been chosen to the All-Ventura County Team the past two consecutive seasons.
Additionally, Clark was named to the Daily News All-Area Team and was chosen to represent her area as a member of the United States Water Polo Zone 11 Youth Team in 2005.
"Carly is one of those players that is going to keep after it no matter what. She is tough and she is someone who is going to scrap in the pool until she gets it done. That is the type of ability we need, she is going to be one of the best two-meter players coming out and she can get in and set against anybody, she has strength to do it," said Altman
Local product Cailee Kilroy will add further depth to the Gaucho roster as an attacker. Kilroy, who is a member of the Santa Barbara High School water polo team that has captured three consecutive CIF titles, was named First Team All-CIF in addition to earning all-league honors following the spring 2006 season. Kilroy also earned Santa Barbara News Press Athlete of the Week honors during her junior campaign.
Kilroy is an accomplished swimmer and currently holds a Santa Barbara HS record in the 200 meter freestyle relay.
"I think Cailee is going to bring a lot to us in terms of speed and shooting and she is also a really aggressive player in the pool. She's a local kid coming out of a great program at Santa Barbara High School and I think she is going to be someone who can come in and constantly get better throughout her entire water polo career here," commented Altman of her local recruit.
Coming to UCSB via Cabrillo High School is attacker Kathryn Nelson, a two-time Los Padres League first team selection and two-time All-CIF pick. Additionally Nelson helped the Santa Barbara Water Polo Foundation to a seventh place finish at the National Junior Olympics and a fourth place finish at both Junior and Senior Nationals this past summer.
Another accomplished swimmer, Nelson was the Cabrillo swim team's MVP after taking first place in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle at the Los Padres League Championships. She also made finals in both events at the CIF championships.
"Kathryn is one of those players whose ability with the ball is top notch," explained Altman. "She is a game savvy player that you notice in the water and she is someone who is going to be able to get after it right away and bring something to the program as a freshman."
Rounding out this impressive signing class is utility player Michelle Beaudreau out of Aragon High School. Beudreau is a two-time team MVP at Aragon and received First Team All- Peninsula Athletic League honors following both her sophomore and junior campaigns. In addition to all-league honors, Beudreau is also a two-time All-Central Coast Section selection and has represented the Pacific Zone as a member of the Youth Zone Team in 2005 and 2006.
"Michelle is a player that is super tough and super aggressive. She is going to bring that energy in the water."
"These are girls that all have the ability to come in and take that next step and play at the college level right away," summed up Altman.