Nov. 23, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - Head women's water polo coach Gavin Arroyo has announced that four recruits have signed National Letters of Intent to play for Long Beach State. Christina Kotsia, Kayla Robert, Abby Oshiro, and Alexis Butler comprise the early recruiting class for the 49ers.
The 49ers signed one international recruit, continuing a pipeline from Greece by landing a top European player in Christina Kotsia. The captain of the Greek U17 national team, she led that squad to the European Championship, and twice participated in the Junior World Championships, leading Greece to a fifth-place finish in the last tournament in Italy.
"Christina is one of the best players in Europe for her age," said Arroyo. "We look forward to having a player with such vast international experience, and she will have an immediate impact on our program."
Picking up a local center from Fountain Valley High School, Kayla Robert was a member of the Gold Medal team from Huntington Beach Water Polo Club that took the championship at the USA Junior Olympics last summer, and is a member of the Southern Pacific Olympic Development program.
"Kayla comes to our program with an impressive resume," said Arroyo. "Her work ethic and commitment is what makes Kayla so special. We expect her dominate the center position from the get go."
Offensively, the 49ers will add a Huntington Beach product in attacker Abby Oshiro from Edison High School. A southpaw with excellent speed, Oshiro also plays for the Huntington Beach Water Polo Club.
"Abby is the fast, left-handed attacker we have been missing in our program," said Arroyo. "She will bring an up-tempo style of play that will enhance our counter-attack and man-advantage aspects of the game."
The women's water polo program rounds out the class with a goaltender from Stockton, Calif., Alexis Butler. At 6-2, she brings good size to the position, and plays for St. Mary's High School and the Stockton Water Polo Club.
"Alexis' size and athleticism are quite impressive," said Arroyo. "She moves very naturally in the water. When I saw her play I knew instantly that she would be a great collegiate goalie."
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