Raquel de Pinho, the most decorated player in West Valley women's water polo history, has accepted an athletic scholarship to San Diego State University, Viking coach Erika Vargas announced Tuesday. de Pinho heads to San Diego after leading the Vikings to back-to-back undefeated Coast Conference championships and a state 3rd place finish in 2019.
The Rio de Janeiro native was the Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year in each of her two seasons in Saratoga. In 2019, she was the Coast MVP, and an All-America, All-State, All-NorCal and All-Coast 1st Team selection. In 2018, de Pinho was an All-Coast 1st-teamer, an All-NorCal 2nd teamer and an All-American. She took care of business in the classroom as well as the water, maintaining a 3.5 cumulative GPA and earning the West Valley College 2020 Charest Female and Wanda Wong International scholarships. de Pinho was also named the 2020 West Valley College Female Athlete of the Year.
Vargas recently said, "There's so much to say about such an amazing athlete. Raquel's perserverance, determination, resiliance and positive attitude has molded her into the best goalie the West Valley women's water polo team has ever had." WVC Aquatics Director Willo Rodriguez agreed, saying, "Raquel was the best goalie in the state. Her presence in the cage changed the history of the program."
San Diego St., a member of the Golden Coast Conference, was 9-9 overall and 3-0 in GCC action when the 2020 season was halted in March. The Aztecs are coached by former US National Team player Carin Crawford, who has coached SDSU to 20 consecutive top-20, including 17 top-10, national finishes.