Monte Vista High senior Kelly Mendoza, one of the top water polo recruits in the country, has orally committed to Cal, selecting the Golden Bears over USC.

Her decision came as a surprise. Mendoza had been dead set on becoming a Trojan but had a change of heart. Cal's campus atmosphere and traditions won the day.

"I went on my recruiting trip to USC, and I was about 99 percent sure I was going to go there," Mendoza said Monday afternoon. "I loved it there. It was an amazing school. But then I went to Cal on my recruiting trip, and I was so confused.

"I had no idea what I was going to do. So I just laid out the pros and cons, and there were more pros and less cons on Cal's side, and I decided it was the right fit for me."

Mendoza, known for her skill and intelligent play, led the Mustangs in 2008 with 78 goals and 56 assists, helping unbeaten Monte Vista to a third consecutive North Coast Section title.

Mendoza and teammate Maggie Steffens are also members of the U.S. Junior Women's National Team, which earned a bronze medal in the world championships over the summer.

Also, Mendoza plays for the Diablo Water Polo girls club team.



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