Neushul gives Russia a high five in U.S. water polo victory


Stanford grad and reigning college Player of the Year Kiley Neushul scored five goals, including converting a pair of penalty kicks, and the United States women's senior water polo team downed Russia, 17-6, in the quarterfinals of the FINA World League Super Final in Shanghai, China on Friday.

Cardinal grad Ashley Grossman and Stanford senior Maggie Steffens each added a pair of goals to help the Americans (4-0, 14-1) reach Saturday's semifinal match against the Netherlands. It will be the fourth meeting between the countries in the past 12 days.

Kiley Neushul/USA water polo
"The Netherlands are a very talented team with excellent skills," U.S. coach Adam Krikorian said. "Our success comes from our talented players."

Incoming Stanford freshman Makenzie Fischer also scored for Team USA. She's recorded at least one goal in each of the Americans 15 matches this year.

The U.S. scored the game's first eight goals and led, 13-3, heading into the fourth quarter.

"I thought we got some favorable calls and still played well in the first half," Krikorian said. "We lost our focus in the second half."

Women's volleyball

Stanford senior Inky Ajanaku makes her U.S. senior national women's volleyball team debut this weekend as the Americans compete in the Pan American Cup in Lima, Peru beginning Saturday.

Ajanaku is joined by Cardinal grads Kristen (Richards) Hildebrand, Cassidy Lichtman and Alix Klineman. Hildebrand, who will serve as captain, was part of the U.S. FIVB World Championship team in 2014.

Team USA opens the Pan American Cup against Puerto Rico, followed by Colombia.

The top-ranked Americans finished their four-match USA Volleyball Cup series with No. 3 China with a 25-22, 27-25, 25-22 victory Friday evening in San Bernardino.

The USA Volleyball Cup represented a rematch of the 2014 FIVB World Championship gold-medal match in which the Americans won in four sets in Milan, Italy.

"We learned that we have a good group of volleyball players," U.S. coach Karch Kiraly said. "We started a different lineup each of the four matches. We learned that we have a lot of room for improvement and we made some tonight in terms of our ability to be completely engaged play-after-play."

Men's water polo

Stanford grad and four-time Olympian Tony Azevedo scored twice but the United States men's senior national team lost to Hungary, 13-7, in the opener of the Internazionali Di Nuoto tournament in Rome on Friday.

Cardinal senior Bret Bonanni also scored as teams use the event as a tune-up for the FINA World League Super Final, which starts on June 23 in Bergamo, Italy.

Team USA will continue competition in Rome, taking on Croatia on Saturday and Italy on Sunday.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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