Nov. 27, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan water polo head coach Matt Anderson announced Tuesday (Nov. 27) that five student-athletes -- Emily Browning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS), Kaitlyn Cozens (Sacramento, Calif./St. Francis HS), Allison Larko (Los Gatos, Calif./Los Gatos HS), Jamie Nolan (San Jose, Calif./Leland HS) and Allison Skaggs (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro HS) -- have signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period to attend and compete in water polo next fall.
"Our goal was to put together a well-rounded class," said Anderson, "and that's exactly what this class provides. We have a player that covers every area to help us increase the depth and talent that we need for a complete team. We were fortunate that we were able to get the players that we wanted, and we are very happy with the completeness of this class."
Browning, a goalkeeper, will join older sisters, Jessica (Cal State Bakersfield) and Nicole (Sonoma State) in collegiate water polo. She was named to the All-CIF second team as a junior (2012) and is a three-time all-league selection. She boasts 805 career saves, including 322 as a junior, as well as 94 steals and 88 assists. A Junior Olympic and ODP participant, Browning is a two-time USA Water Polo Outstanding Academic All-American.
"Emily comes to us from a very strong club program in Southern California," said Anderson. "She has had the opportunity to play high-level games and to do quite well in high school. She's one of the top goalies coming out this year. We were looking at her for what she's been able to do and what we think she'll be able to do. I think she'll surprise some people with what she's capable of doing, and I think she'll have an opportunity to have an immediate impact as we try to develop our goalie depth going forward."
Cozens, a versatile utility player, was named the Sac-Joaquin Section MVP after scoring 54 goals as a senior this fall. She was a three-time all-section and all-league selection and was named to the 2011 Sacramento River Cats All-City Water Polo team. A four-year varsity letterwinner, Cozens led her team to four section championship games, serving as team captain in her senior season.
"Kaitlyn is a very well-rounded utility player," said Anderson. "She has done a very good job being able to score from the outside, defend and post up. She's well-rounded in her work ethic, and her want and need to get better has really driven her to be what you're looking for in a college water polo player. I'm looking forward to the opportunity she's going to have to develop those intangibles as she gets into a program that going to push her to maximize her potential."
A utility player from Los Gatos High School, where U-M's Matt Anderson started the girls' water polo program in 1993, Larko is a two-time all-league selection and, in 2011, earned All-CIF Central Coast second team honors and named a KAI California-Hawaii All-America honorable mention. As a junior last season, she posted 47 goals, 33 assists, 25 steals and 21 ejections drawn. A Pacific Zone ODP player, Larko earned USA Water Polo All-Academic status in 2012. She has also earned three varsity letters in swimming.
"Allison has good athletic skills that are only going to get better," said Anderson. "She comes from a good club program and she comes from an area where they produce good players that she's had an opportunity to play with. I look for Allison to help us defensively and also increase her offensive production as her college years go."
Nolan, the younger sister of current Wolverine junior Kelsey Nolan (San Jose, Calif./Leland HS), was a two-time Blossom Valley Athletic League honoree, claiming Junior of the Year (2011) and Freshman of the Year (2009). She garnered 2011 Central Coast Section first team and All-American KAI-California/Hawaii fifth team accolades and helped lead her Leland High team to four straight BVAL Championship titles and back-to-back CCS championship games (2011, '12), capturing the title last season. She is a three-time letterwinner in swimming and, out of the pool, a two-time USA Water Polo Outstanding Academic All-American.
"Jamie has her own attributes that we were looking for," said Anderson. "She is a right-handed driver, and she will use her speed and her aggressive nature when it comes to scoring the ball to play around the perimeter. Jamie understands Michigan, she's grown up on Michigan, and she's completely intertwined in everything this team and school are about."
Skaggs, a two-meter, was named a KAI-California/Hawaii All-American as a junior (2012) and two-time All-CIF selection, earning first team honors last season. She is a three-time all-league honoree and already ranks fourth among El Toro's all-time leading scorers, twice earning team MVP accolades. Skaggs is a six-time Junior Olympics participant, earning top-five finishes in each of her last three appearances, and a ODP participant. She has also earned three varsity letters in swimming and is a USA Water Polo Outstanding Academic All-American.
"Allison Skaggs is definitely someone who is going to come in and immediately help us at the two-meter position," said Anderson. "I really like her current development and I really like her potential. She has an opportunity, immediately, to do some really nice things collegiately."
The Wolverines will graduate a five-member senior class following the 2013 season.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423