American men open FINA Super Final with solid victory


Former Stanford great Tony Azevedo scored four times, future Cardinal star Ben Hallock added two goals and the United States men's senior water polo team downed host China, 12-6, Tuesday on opening day of the FINA World League Super Final in Huizhou.

Stanford grad Alex Bowen also scored for the Americans (12-1 overall), who play Brazil on Wednesday.

Ben Hallock. Photo by Kelley L Cox-KLC fotos
Josh Samuels also scored four goals in the victory while Merrill Moses and McQuin Baron combined for 11 saves in net.

"We came from Europe two days ago," U.S. coach Dejan Udovicic said. "My players were still in jet lag. We were slow in adjusting to he time, weather, swimming pool, atmosphere and everything here."

Team USA took on local club team Guangdong, who is representing China in this event as the national team did not qualify for the Olympics.

China scored 45 seconds into the game but the United States opened a 3-1 lead after the first quarter and a 6-2 advantage at halftime.

"We did not expect such a big crowd. It was very nice," Udovicic said. This is the first game of the Super Final and important games are coming. We are going to be ready."

The United States converted three of four power plays and its lone penalty attempt. China went 1-of-7 on power plays and did not attempt a penalty.

In related news:

Stanford water polo athletes Jackson Kimball, Maggie Steffens and Makenzie Fischer are expected to attend the Olympic Day celebration at the Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine on Thursday.

The three-hour event, hosted by USA Water Polo, will start at 5 p.m. And will feature water polo and other aquatic sports, promote health and water safety, showcase Irvine's rich water polo history and promote the ideals of the Olympic Movement and upcoming 2016 Rio Games.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA water polo


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