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Benson Honored Again as Bulldogs Head to NCAA Women's Water Polo Championships
STEVEN HEADSHOT 1
By Steven Sanchez
Published 3 weeks ago on
May 8, 2024

Fresno State women's water polo Natalie Benson is the Golden Coast Conference Coach of the Year for the fourth straight year. (GV Wire Composite)

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Fresno State women’s water polo coach Natalie Benson has been named the Golden Coast Conference Coach of the Year for the fourth year in a row in voting by conference coaches.

“I am humbled and honored to have been named Coach of the Year for the Golden Coast Conference,” said Benson in a news release Wednesday.

“I have a tremendous group of people who contribute to our collective success, including my assistant coaches Tamara Perea and Ashley Hill, our strength coach Thomas Cornelius, as well as our athletic trainer Rachel Wilhelm. This honor also belongs to them.”

Upcoming NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championship

The Bulldogs travel to Berkeley for the NCAA Women’s Water Polo Championships. They face host school Cal in the quarterfinal matchup at 6 p.m. Friday.

Record-Breaking Season for Fresno State

Benson has coached the team since the inaugural season in 2018, but this season has been a special one with the potential of bringing home a national title.

Fresno State has a 21-7 overall record — a school record for victories — and is ranked No. 6 in the nation. The Bulldogs have defeated the nation’s top-ranked team on two different occasions and have been as high as No. 3 in the national poll.

Cal (17-6, ranked No. 3 nationally) has beaten Fresno State twice this season: 9-5 on Feb. 24 and 10-6 on March 28.

“We work hard, but our athletes have earned what they have achieved,” said Benson. “I want to thank our team for their hard work, commitment to Fresno State, and competitive spirit. They make coming to work rewarding.”

Here is a link to the NCAA Championship bracket.

Victorious in GCC Tournament

The Bulldogs are fresh off their GCC tournament title, defeating LMU 13-12 in overtime of the championship game for Benson’s 100th victory at Fresno State.

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Steven Sanchez,
Content Manager/Entertainment Editor
Steven Sanchez, a resident of Clovis, graduated from Buchanan High School in the class of 2007 and obtained his film degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Steven is a multifaceted artist, working as a filmmaker, writer, photographer, videographer, and published author. He has a profound passion for movies, comic books, and rock ‘n’ roll. A dedicated football enthusiast, he cheers for the Las Vegas Raiders. In his leisure time, he indulges in reading and collecting vinyl records. Steven is often found attending rock shows in town, a keen enthusiast of live music. He holds a special fondness for his grandma's homemade meals and spending time with his twin sister.

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