“Water Polo is just not popular enough, it is very popular in European countries but here people do not really know what it is, it is an amazing sport, a mix of different team sports like handball, soccer, basketball and ice hockey, and people are just not aware of it,” Kovacs said.
Kovacs is a senior driver on California Baptist University’s women’s water polo team. She currently leads the team in goals and ranks in the top five in steals and assists.
She is a business major focusing on management and wishes to pursue a graduate degree in marketing following graduation.
“I have plans, I don’t know if that will happen or not, I would really like to play professional polo, and then after that get married and not have to work, that is plan A,” Kovacs said. “Plan B is that life is not so easy, and I will do something with marketing and polo to raise awareness.”
Kovacs has played for CBU since the 2010 season and is currently ranked third on the all-time goals scored list.
“At first when I came to America [from Hungary] my English was not good enough to attend a university, so I went to a college in Sacramento,” Kovacs said. “The water polo level was not that great so I needed to go to a university and I fell in love with CBU.”
Last season, she led the team in goals with 108 and steals with 50 and was honored as an All-American. The most impressive stat from her 2011 campaign was she did not play in the first eight games of the season due to a shoulder surgery.
The 2011 pre-season was the most difficult time in Kovac’s career as a Lancer, after having shoulder surgery Nov. 9, 2010, she was told by doctors that she would not even be able to move her arm for at least five months.
“Up until that point water polo was my life, I idolized water polo,” Kovacs said.
Against the doctor’s order, Kovacs began to move her arm and rehab shortly after the surgery, and she was in the pool and practicing two months later. A month later, she was playing again and was on her way to becoming an All-American.
“By myself I could not have done that, so that time was very memorable, because it was at that time that I gave my heart to the Lord,” Kovacs said. “Prior to that time, no one ever valued me as a person, only as a water polo player, so I didn’t know what else to do.”
2012 has been a successful year for both Kovacs and the Lancers women’s water polo team as a whole. After finishing 28-12 last season, their goal was to improve and earn a top 20 ranking. They are on their way to earning that ranking with a 16-7 record heading into the final quarter of the season.
“We are beating teams by seven goals, that last year we lost to by one goal,” Kovacs said.
She encourages students to come see the Lancers at their home games, promising that she and her teammates will “put on a show.”
Kovacs’ collegiate water polo career will come to an end following the 2012 season, and she plans to play professional water polo while she continues schooling in Australia after that. After that, not even she knows.
“We will see where God wants me, because I know that he gave me these talents to glorify Him,” Kovacs said.