Stanford grad Ashley Grossman scored twice, incoming Cardinal freshman Makenzie Fischer added a pair of goals and the United States women's water polo tam downed the Netherlands, 8-5, Saturday to reach the championship match of the FINA World League Super Final in Shanhghai, China.
The Americans (5-0 in the Super Final, 15-1 overall) meets Australia in Sunday's title match. Team USA beat the Aussies, 12-10, in a shootout to win the Intercontinental tournament in early May.
Ashley Grossman/USA water polo
"It's tough playing a team four times in ten days," USA coach Adam Krikorian said. "I was happy with our effort defensively but we could have played much better in the fourth quarter."
The Netherlands outscored Team USA, 3-0, in the final period.
Men's water polo
Stanford grad and Olympian Tony Azevedo scored four times, twice in the fourth quarter, but the U.S. could not overcome the deficit in losing to Croatia, 14-11, on the second day of the Internazionali Di Nuoto tournament in Rome on Saturday.
Cardinal senior Bret Bonanni also scored for the Americans, who play Italy on Sunday.
Azevedo scored with 6:20 remaining in the final period to bring the U.S. within 11-9 but Croatia responded with two goals.
Stanford grad Erik Shoji, the starting libero for the U.S. national team, helped the Americans hand Poland its first loss of the FIVB World League, 23-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-22, 15-9, at the Sears Centre Arena in front of a crowd of 9,574 on Friday.
The Americans made it two in a row against the Polish as Aaron Russell fired 20 points to guide USA in a 23-25, 25-23, 25-15, 25-17 victory on Saturday.
Russell outduelled Poland's Bartosz Kurek in scoring. The Polish scoring giant was limited to 13 points. USA's Matthew Anderson scored 14 points and Murphy Troy added 10.
The U.S. leads group play with a 6-0 record and 17 points. Poland is at 4-2 with 11 points, followed by Iran (1-4) and Russia (0-5).
East Palo Alto resident Folau Niua helped the United States Men's Eagles Sevens rugby team open the NACRA Sevens Championships with three wins on Saturday, 54-0 over Barbados, 50-0 over Mexico and by forfeit over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Niua, a flyback, scored a try against Barbados and opened the match with a smart grubber just for Martin Iosefo to chase, who scored for a quick strike.
The U.S. finishes pool play against Jamaica on Sunday.
The Americans lead Pool A with a 2-0 record, followed by Jamaica and Mexico at 1-1 and Barbados at 0-2. The matches with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are not counted in the standings.