USC junior Monica Vavic and Stanford junior Kiley Neushul each scored in the final 2:40 of the first period to give the United States junior national women's water polo team an early lead en route to a 10-3 victory over host Greece in a semifinal match of the FINA Junior World Championships in Volos on Saturday.
Rachel Fattal added four goals to pace the Americans, who will meet Spain in Sunday's championship match.
"We controlled the tempo of the game from the start," USA (and UCLA) coach Dan Klatt said. "We were extremely disciplined on defense and we are excited to start preparing for tomorrow."
The U.S. finished eighth at the 2011 Junior National Championships after a third-place finish in 2009 and a fourth-place finish in 2007.
Spain, which won the FINA World Championship earlier in the summer, is the defending champion in the event, beating Hungary, 11-9, in 2011.
"We can't consider ourselves the favorite," Klatt said. "We had a great game today, but tomorrow is a complete different day. We have to play with the same passion and the same discipline."
Spain will be seeking to become the first repeat champion in the event while the Americans are looking to become the first three-time champions of the event.
"USA is the favorite but do not forget that we are the world champions and we have really intelligent players," Spain coach Xavier Polonio said. "We have to rest and enjoy the final."
By reaching the championship, the U.S. is assured of its best finish since winning the title in 2005, and assured of its 7th overall medal in 10 FINA Junior World Championship competitions.
Spain beat Russia, 9-8, to reach the final.