The United States women's senior national water polo team will be looking to repeat as FINA World Cup champions when competition begins Tuesday with a match against South Africa in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
The Americans (16-2-1) won the FINA World League Super Final and the Kirishi Cup and are hoping to become the first nation to repeat since The Netherlands did it in 1997 and 1999. The U.S. won the title in 2010 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Stanford grads Annika Dries and Melissa Seidemann and Cardinal junior Maggie Steffens were among the five players who helped the U.S win its last gold medal. USC grad Kami Craig and UCLA grad Courtney Mathewson were also on the team.
Stanford senior Kiley Neushul and Sacred Heart Prep grad KK Clark will also compete in Russia.
The competition determines four spots in next year's world championships. The Americans, with its World League victory, have already qualified.
Team USA will see opposition from Australia, reigning world and European champion Spain, Russia, China and Hungary.
The U.S. will also play Australia and Hungary in pool play.
Boys water polo
Menlo School's Nick Bisconti scored twice and the U.S. youth national team went to a shootout to beat Japan, 12-11, and capture 11th place in the FINA World Championships.
Stanford sophomores Stephanie Amack and Jane Campbell and freshman Andi Russell hope to help the U.S. Under-20 national team prolong its Canadian visit with a victory over China on Tuesday, the final day of preliminary play.
The Americans (10-1) split their first two matches, losing to Germany, 2-0, and beating Brazil, 1-0.
A win over China will put the U.S. into the quarterfinal round.