Last year, Stanford claimed their program's second NCAA championship in a decisive 9-5 victory against California. The Cardnial are the top ranked team in the nation.

John Tanner enters his 14th season at the helm of the Stanford women's water polo program. An experienced and enthusiastic coach, Tanner took on the developing program in 1997 and has since turned it into a nationally-ranked powerhouse

Stanford is off to a nice start to the season as you defeated USC and UCLA at the Stanford Invitational. What do you need to do to repeat as NCAA champions?

Coach John Tanner: We need to be the team that we are in 2012. Right now, we are trying to forge an identity. We are also trying to figure out how all the pieces fit. We are proud of how we competed at the end of the games against USC and UCLA.

How do you replace not only graduated, All-American goalie Amber Oland but also Annika Dries and Melissa Seidemann who are redshirting as they are competing for spots on the United States Olympic team?

Tanner: You do not try to replace them because you cannot. But we have four great seniors in Alyssa Lo, Cassie Churnside, Pallavi Menon and Monica Coughlan. They give us real quality in different parts of the game. They are leading the way and they each have great passion for water polo and their teammates. They have made the build up to the season really fun.

You mentioned Alyssa Lo and she was a second-team All-American last spring. What makes her the special player that she is?

Tanner: Alyssa has a motor that runs nonstop. She creates problems for opponents in all phases of the game as she can drive, guard, post-up and score from many different places. She plays with great tenacity.