Anna “Nusi” Illes
Sport: Women’s Water Polo
Birthday: February 21st, 1994 (age 22)
Hometown: Budapest, Hungary
Cal affiliation: current California Golden Bears student (redshirt junior)
Years at Cal: 2014 - present
Olympic appearances: Anna will make her Olympic games debut in Rio
Anna Illes is one of the three International Golden Bears, all in the Rio Olympics, that have carried Cal Women’s Water Polo to the NCAA semifinals in 2014 and 2015. The 2015 Golden Bears also managed to beat rival Stanford Cardinal for the first time since 2000, a span of 40 games over 15 years. The victory came in the MPSF tournament (not the official Big Splash). That Stanford squad is lead by Maggie Steffens, a star for Team USA in the 2012 London and expected to be the Olympic Women’s Water Polo scoring leader yet again in 2016 Rio.
Nusi is the 3rd leading scorers on the Bears in both 2014 and 2015. She scored 41 goals as a freshman - 5th most ever by a Cal freshman with two of the better results also coming from 2014 from Dora Antal and Ru Tarrago. In her sophomore campaign, Nusi scored 48 goals.
In addition to her goal scoring, Nusi is considered a very good defensive player. In fact, she is one of the top two-way player in college women’s water polo right now.
Nusi was an All-ACWPC All-American Honorable Mention in 2014 and Third Team All-American in 2015.
Unlike Dora Antal or Ru Tarrago, Anna Illes did not participate in the 2012 London Olympics.
Here is the list of her International achievements from the CalBears.com profile:
• Helped Hungary, along with Cal teammate Dora Antal, to the 2016 European Championship - which resulted in an automatic berth to the 2016 Summer Olympics
• Led Hungary, along with Antal, to the Bronze Medal at the 2014 European Championships
• Helped Hungary finish in fifth place at the 2014 FINA Women's Water Polo World Cup
• Won a Bronze Medal at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona• Participated in the 2013 World Junior Championships in Volos, Greece
• Helped Hungary win the Silver Medal at the 2011 World Championships in Trieste, Italy
• Won Silver Medals at the 2012 European Junior Championships, 2012 Youth World Championships and 2011 Youth European Championships
• Won Bronze Medals at the 2012 Senior European Championships and 2010 Youth European Championships
More on Anna and her Rio outlook:
Nusi is one of the three Cal Water Polo redshirt juniors that took this past year off to train with her national team and qualify for Rio. Yet another Cal international “Driver”, Illes (Cal’s 3rd leading scorers for 2014-15) will joined her countrywoman Calympian Dora Antal (Cal’s leading scorer for the 2014-15) and Spanish Calympian Roser “Ru” Tarrago (Cal’s 2nd leading scorer for 2014-15) in Rio.
While still listed as an undeclared major, Nusi has earned some academic recognitions at Cal to go with her athletic success.
Congrats to this young lady, Anna (Nusi) Illes, for being named the Cal Athletic Study Center Student-Athlete of the Week! The ASC selects student-athletes who exemplify Cal Athletics' high academic standards through outstanding performance in the classroom or dedication to excel not only athletically but also academically. Great work, Nusi! #CalWWPolo #StudentAthletes
Illes is considered more of a defensive player out of the trio, particularly on the Hungarian national team. The Hungarian team with her and Antal (who will likely be their top scorer) should be in the mix for a medal.
In the knockout seeding deciding group play (all 8 countries will advance to the knockout stage), Hungary will face China on August 9th, Spain on August 11th, and the United States on August 13th.
Regardless of the Rio results, I am sure all three Cal Women’s Water Polo Golden Bears will return to Berkeley with more experience. The next two Cal Women’s Water Polo seasons (2017 and 2018) may see this trio lead Cal to its first Women’s Water Polo NCAA Championship.
Good luck to Anna in Rio and GO BEARS!