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Only becoming an official sport at Arizona State a little over a decade ago, the Sun Devil water polo program has established itself as one of the elite programs in the nation. A consistent top-five team these past four seasons, the Sun Devils are now a program mentioned in the same breath as perennial powerhouses such as Stanford, USC, UCLA and Cal advancing the program’s first NCAA Tournament in 2014 and taking fifth overall.
Finding the perfect blend of exceptional talent from within the United States combined with some of the top young water polo players from around the world, head coach Todd Clapper has built a program that is diverse, successful and exciting to watch. With 28 All-America honors to the programs name and over 75 national All-Academic honors, the Sun Devils pride themselves as a program that gets it done both in and out of the pool and the ASU squad shows no signs of slowing down in the near future.
n the heart of campus in Downtown Tempe, the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center is considered one of the finest outdoor swimming and diving facilities in collegiate sports across the country. Three pools cover the deck: an Olympic size, 7-foot-deep competition, and smaller warm-up lap pool. It was built in 1981 and can seat 2,000 spectators.
The facility was named after the late Plummer in 1985 due to her overwhelming amount of achievements and contributions to the school. Plummer coached 22 years and mentored many Olympians and dozens of All-Americans. She earned National Coach of the Year in 1979 and led the Sun Devils to eight national titles.
The Sun Devils have established themselves as one of the elite teams in the country in the last couple years. In the last four seasons, the Sun Devils have compiled an 84-34 record under head coach Todd Clapper. In that time, the team has posted 11 All-America honors while earning the first victory over UCLA in program history, beating Cal on the road for the first time ever and matching a program best upset with a victory over second-ranked USC in 2014.
ASU advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history in 2014, taking fifth overall with a victory over UC Irvine. The Sun Devils posted a program-best fourth-place finish in the MPSF Championships and CWPA Final Coaches Poll in 2013 (peaking at a program best No. 3 in the 2013 regular seasons) and have set school records in wins in two of the last four seasons seasons as well.
Despite the relative youth of the Sun Devil program, Arizona State has built quite the reputation of success in such a short time. Since becoming a program in 2001-02, the Sun Devils have posted 28 All-America honors, over 30 MPSF Athlete of the Week selections and two Olympians. ASU has had an All-American in each of the last eight seasons, including a program best four selections in 2013. ASU has compiled an overall record of 84-34 (.711) in the last four seasons. The Sun Devil program had two representatives in the 2012 London Olympic Games in current senior Ao Gao (China) and former standout Rowie Webster (Australia).
The Sun Devils have been quite active on the annual ACWPC All-Academic Teams over the years. Overall, 40 Sun Devils have earned ACWPC All-Academic honors in their careers in Tempe with a total of 76 accolades combined. Of those 40 women, 22 have been honored two or more times in their careers. The Sun Devils have made the All-Academic Team as a program in seven seasons now and three of the last five. The awards are separated into three tiers based upon the overall GPA of student-athletes.