Two Outstanding Water Polo Players Sign National Letters of Intent with CSUN

Northridge, Calif. – Maddie Sanchez and Shannon Hovanesian, two outstanding high school senior water polo players, have signed National Letters of Intent with Cal State Northridge, according to head coach Dr. Marcelo Leonardi.

Sanchez and Hovanesian, both seniors, will enroll at CSUN in the Fall of 2014.

"Maddie is an extraordinary attacker and playmaker," said Dr. Leonardi. "She has exceptional ball handling skills, great vision, explosiveness in the water, and can score in a variety of ways. Maddie will make an immediate impact in the Northridge program next year."

Sanchez is currently a senior at Murrieta Valley High School. She will graduate in 2014.  

Her credentials not only include major honors in high school but also nationally and internationally as well. In 2011 and 2012, Sanchez helped Murrieta Valley to the CIF Division III championships. Her outstanding team play garnered her all-CIF accolades among several post-season awards. Sanchez also has gained valuable experience playing on the United States Women's National Youth Team. She is also a member of the Olympic Development Program.

"I chose CSUN because of its awesome water polo program and coaching staff," said Sanchez. "On my recruiting trip, I instantly clicked with the team and its culture. I'm excited to be a Matador and be a part of the program the next four years."

Sanchez also plays for the Elite Water Polo club under the tutelage of Bryon Lynton. This club team has also produced former Matador and MVHS alums Sydney Sonoda and Kirra Kylander.

Power and versatility are adjectives that describe the talents of Hovanesian, who is currently a senior at Crescenta Valley High School.

"She has the ability to play several positions in the water," said Dr. Leonardi. "Shannon also brings with her experience playing in the Olympic Developmental Program."

Hovanesian has developed and fine-tuned her water polo skills at Crescenta Valley High School. During her tenure at CVHS, she gained first team all-CIF accolades in leading the team to the CIF Division 5 championship in 2013. She was also selected as the Pacific League Player of the Year as a junior in 2013.

"Shannon will definitely make an immediate impact to the CSUN program both academically and athletically," said Dr. Leonardi. "Shannon boasts of a 4.0 grade point average, which places her at the top of her class academically."

Hovanesian is also a member of the Rose Bowl Water Polo club program under the guidance of Adam Roth.

"CSUN fulfills my dream of playing on a Division I women's water polo team in California under the guidance of head coach Marcelo Leonardi," said Hovanesian, who selected CSUN after her official visit. I am looking forward to becoming a part of this team. The team's level of commitment to water polo is equivalent to their dedication to their academic achievements."

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