Bison Athlete of the Week – Julianne Valdés – Women’s Water Polo

Doug Hendry, Assistant Sports Editor

The women’s water polo team has been making a push for a spot in the CWPA Championship this season, and no one has done more to reach that goal than co-captain Julianne Valdés ’14. The Orange and Blue just earned an automatic berth into the CWPA Championship thanks to their third-place finish at the Southern Championships from April 12-13, and Valdés’ stellar play in all three games made this achievement possible.

Valdés’ outstanding weekend started off with a six-point performance on April 12. Firing in three goals and dishing out three assists gave her the second most points on the team for the day. It all started against Mercyhurst. One goal, one assist, and one steal against the Lakers helped the Bison grab an 8-3 victory. Although the Bison stumbled against Brown in their second game, Valdés still registered two goals, two assists, and an ejection drawn.

Defeating host-school Harvard on April 13 was the final task for Valdés, and her three-goal performance helped the Bison to a 9-6 victory. In addition to her three goals, Valdés added another three assists, equaling her point total from both of Saturday’s games combined. The game against Harvard helped Valdés reach 300 career points (176 goals, 124 assists), becoming only the fifth Bison in program history to reach the profound milestone.

“This year’s Southern Championships was really exciting for many reasons,” Valdés said. “We did the best we have done since 2010 when the team actually won the whole tournament. That being said, our whole team played exceptionally well, and we were able to beat Harvard at their own pool, which made it our second win against them this year. I would say our defense was key this weekend, as we came up with a couple huge stops that helped us convert offensively.”

Tournaments like the Southern Championships are a reason why Valdés ranks towards the top of many Bison leaderboards. She ranks in the top-10 for goals, assists, shots, points, ejections drawn, sprints won, and games started. As for this season, Valdés is confident heading into the CWPA Championship, which the Bison will host on April 25-27.

“The CWPA Championship is going to be a great tournament,” Valdés said. “The competition that will be here for the tournament is unparalleled, as all of the best teams on the East Coast will be there. While the whole team is incredibly excited to play among the best of the best, the seniors and I are especially pumped to be able to finish out our careers at home. We’re excited to show the rest of the league what Bucknell Water Polo is all about at the Championship, and we will definitely be bringing our A-game.”



  • Position: Utility
  • Year: Senior
  • Hometown: Miami, Fla.
  • High School: Gulliver Prep
  • 2013: Second-Team CWPA All-Southern Division

Season Stats:

  • 78 Shots
  • 35 Goals
  • 24 Assists
  • 22 Steals
  • 15 Ejections Drawn
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