Sports


Azevedo helps USA men's water polo team stun Hungary

 

Stanford grad and four-time Olympian Tony Azevedo converted a penalty shot with under three seconds to play, lifting Team USA to an improbable 8-7 victory over Hungary on Friday in the FINA World League Super Final in Bergamo, Italy.

The Americans lost their first three contests at the event and were pitted against one of the top teams in the world in Hungary, which beat the U.S. twice earlier in the season by the combined score of 34-18.

Team USA meets Croatia in Saturday's semifinal. The Croatians beat Italy, 14-12, in penalty kicks in a quarterfinal match. Australia and Brazil play in the other semifinal.

A live webcast, which is slated for an 11 a.m. start, is available and can be viewed by clicking here.

The winner of the Super Final automatically qualifies for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Cal's Luca Cupido drew the penalty in the waning seconds to set the stage for the dramatic finish.

Recent Stanford grad Alex Bowen gave the Americans a 7-6 edge early in the fourth period but Hungary was able to tie the score with just over a minute left.

Team USA started strong, opening a 2-0 lead after the first quarter and a 3-0 lead early in the second period.

Hungary eventually got on track as they mustered three goals in the period to leave the match tied, 3-3, at intermission.

Hungary went ahead in the third, 6-4, before Team USA rallied. Azevedo scored one of his three goals on the day and John Mann delivered a spinning score from two meters to even the game.

Men's volleyball

The U.S. Men's National Team bounced back from two straight losses to defeat host Russia, 25-21, 25-20, 25-19 in an FIVB World League match on Friday in Kaliningrad, Russia.

The U.S. Men improved their record to 7-2 and strengthened their hold on first place in Pool B as second-place Poland fell to Iran, 3-2 in Tehran on Friday. Russia fell to 0-9.

The U.S. and Russia will play again on Saturday at 9:10 a.m. PDT. The match will be shown live at FINA TV

Coming off a weekend in Iran in which they lost both matches 3-0 in front of deafening crowds, U.S. coach John Speraw changed things around and started Taylor Sander and Aaron Russell at the outsides while Matt Anderson moved back to opposite, where he started most of 2014.

Max Holt and David Smith started at middle blocker, Micah Christenson at setter and Stanford grad Erik Shoji at libero. Middle blocker David Lee was the only substitute, playing briefly in the front row for Russell in the first and third sets.

The moves paid off as Anderson led all scorers with 17 points on 14 kills, two blocks and one ace.

The U.S. led in kills (34-28) and had a hitting percentage of .284. Russia's hitting percentage was .132. The United States also led in blocks (11-8) and aces (5-3). The U.S. scored 25 points on Russian errors while giving up 21.

USA water polo

Stanford grad and four-time Olympian Tony Azevedo converted a penalty shot with under three seconds to play, lifting Team USA to an improbable 8-7 victory over Hungary on Friday in the FINA World League Super Final in Bergamo, Italy.

The Americans lost their first three contests at the event and were pitted against one of the top teams in the world in Hungary, which beat the U.S. twice earlier in the season by the combined score of 34-18.

Team USA meets Croatia in Saturday's semifinal. The Croatians beat Italy, 14-12, in penalty kicks in a quarterfinal match. Australia and Brazil play in the other semifinal.

A live webcast, which is slated for an 11 a.m. start, is available and can be viewed by clicking here.

The winner of the Super Final automatically qualifies for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Cal's Luca Cupido drew the penalty in the waning seconds to set the stage for the dramatic finish.

Recent Stanford grad Alex Bowen gave the Americans a 7-6 edge early in the fourth period but Hungary was able to tie the score with just over a minute left.

Team USA started strong, opening a 2-0 lead after the first quarter and a 3-0 lead early in the second period.

Hungary eventually got on track as they mustered three goals in the period to leave the match tied, 3-3, at intermission.

Hungary went ahead in the third, 6-4, before Team USA rallied. Azevedo scored one of his three goals on the day and John Mann delivered a spinning score from two meters to even the game.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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