Coski, Gellert among seven UCSB water polo recruits

San Marcos' Kate Coski is among seven players who have signed with UCSB.

San Marcos’ Kate Coski is among seven players who have signed with UCSB.

The UCSB women’s water polo team have announced the signing of seven standout athletes to National Letters of Intent, head coach Serela Kay announced Wednesday.

Kate Coski (San Marcos HS/Santa Barbara Water Polo Club), Nicole Espinoza (Royal HS), Hailey Gellert (San Marcos HS), Samantha Rosenberg (Gulliver Prep), Natalie Selin (Laguna Beach HS), Kenzi Snyder (Foothill HS), and Sarah Snyder (Clovis West HS) will be joining UCSB next fall.

The Gauchos did not need to go far to find San Marcos HS standouts Kate Coski and Hailey Gellert, who are coming off a Channel League Championship last season.

“Kate and Hailey also come from competitive programs and understand what championship mindset is all about,” Kay said. “Coski has USA Water Polo experience being a member of the Coastal California Zone team and USA Water Polo Youth National Team. Coski will contribute in the paint, while Gellert will provide defensive support.”

Coski and Gellert led the Royals to a 23-8 record last season, which included a trip to the CIF Div I quarterfinals. As juniors last season, they helped the team go through Channel League play unbeaten in earning the league title.

En route to the Royals’ undefeated Channel League campaign, Coski delivered the game-winning goal with 36 seconds left in a dramatic 6-5 win over Dos Pueblos HS.

“Nicole Espinoza is primarily a defender, but will be an asset on the offensive end as a utility player also,” Kay noted. “She has grown up under great coaches along with experience training within the USA National Team system.”

Espinoza played a pivotal role in leading Royal HS to its first ever CIF Southern Section crown with a sound 13-8 win over Riverside Poly in February. She scored a pair of goals in the championship game.

Samantha Rosenberg will be joining the Gauchos as a center. The Miami native has had a prolific prep career so far, evidenced by her recent First Team All-Dade County and Sixth Team All-NISCA selections.

“I am excited to see Samantha Rosenberg develop into a force as a center after joining our training regime,” Kay said.

Coming from Laguna Beach HS and SET Club, Natale Selin will be joining UCSB as an attacker.

“Natalie Selin has been a part of championships every year of her high school career,” Kay noted.
“She has trained with and competed against some of the best players in our sport. This experience is priceless. Her speed will fuel our counter attack.”

The All-CIF Southern Section Sixth-Teamer is coming off a junior campaign when she netted 23 goals, added 30 assists, and also made 37 steals. As a sophomore, she lit up the scoreboard with 40 goals, averaging 1.3 per game, while she also put up 28 assists. That season, the Breakers finished with a 31-1 record, ultimately resulting in a CIF Southern Section Div. I championship. By the time her junior season was over, she led her team to 52 straight victories and captured their second consecutive CIF crown.

The Gauchos will bring in a new goalkeeper next season in Kenzi Snyder who was named Third Team All-CIF and Sixth Team All-NISCA at Foothill HS.

“Kenzi Snyder will step in as goalkeeper and have an immediate impact,” Kay said “She has a high water polo IQ and knows how to win which will fit right into the Gaucho Way.”

Snyder held Newport Harbor to just one goal through the final three quarters in the CIF-SS Div. I semifinals, as her Knights held on to win 5-3. With just 35 seconds left, Snyder made a save that officially ended the Sailors’ chances at a comeback.

Snyder has been a standout for Foothill HS since she was a freshman. In the 2012 Holiday Cup, she was called on at goalie for a semifinals bout with No. 1 Corona del Mar. Her staunch play in the cage helped the Knights win 9-7, as she finished with nine saves – three in the fourth quarter. She later helped her team win the Holiday Cup title with an 8-4 win over Santa Barbara.

UCSB will be bringing in an All-NISCA first teamer in Clovis West HS standout Sarah Snyder.

“Sarah Snyder mirrors my ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality and will make an immediate impact with her inside outside game,” Kay said. “Snyder was a member of the USA Water Polo Cadet National Team. Her positive spirit and competitive drive will resonate in our Gaucho family.”

Snyder spent the summer of 2014 in Hungary where she trained and competed with the U.S.

Women’s Cadet team. During that time overseas, she sharpened her game on both sides of the pool and returned to lead the Golden Eagles to the Central Section Div. I title. She was also named the Fresno Bee’s Girls Water Polo Player of the Year, adding to her ever-growing trophy case that already includes three Fresno Bee All-Star selections and TRAC MVP honors.

The current Gauchos team is preparing for the 2016 season, which will open with the team’s annual Winter Invitational. The tournament will feature three of the top-10 teams from a year ago in UCLA, Cal, and San Jose State.As a sophomore, she averaged two goals and 1.3 assists per game, accounting for 33 total points. An accurate shooter, she found the back of the net on 50 percent of her shots that season.