Sports


U.S. women in final home water polo matches before Rio

 

The United States Olympic women's water polo team meets Russia in its final three games before departing for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for the Olympic Games, where the Americans hope to defend their gold medal from the 2012 London Games.

Team USA plays three times California, beginning Thursday at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego at 6 p.m.

The two teams head to UCLA for a match on Saturday at 2 p.m. and finish with a match at Stanford on July 27 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the "Rumble to Rio" send-off are sold out. VIP seats were exhausted Wednesday and general admission inventory ran out early Thursday morning for the latest installment in Stanford's heralded quadrennial event, which takes place just nine days before the opening ceremonies in Rio.

"Rumble to Rio" is the fifth installment in of Stanford's Sendoff Series for Team USA and is scheduled between the first and second sessions of the 2016 Junior Olympics, the world's largest water polo tournament, which is also in the Bay Area.

A carnival will take place beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Avery Plaza with Brazilian entertainment, food trucks, Rumble to Rio and USA Water Polo vendor villages and more.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and pregame festivities inside Avery Stadium will start at 6:45 p.m.

Sendoff to Sydney (2000), Avery to Athens (2004) and Blastoff to Beijing (2008) all were played in front of packed houses at Avery Aquatic Center.

In the most recent edition, 2012's Lunging to London, a sellout crowd of 3,046 watched Team USA capture a stunning 17-8 victory over Hungary before the United States went on to win the women's water polo program's first Olympic gold medal.

Russia returns to The Farm for the first time in 16 years. The U.S. knocked off Russia, 7-5, in Sendoff to Sydney on July 14, 2000 before embarking on their journey to the inaugural Olympic women's water polo tournament.

The United States went on to win silver at the 2000 Olympic Games, while Russia claimed bronze. The countries are two of only three teams to have qualified for all five Olympics in women's water polo.

The USA, 31-2 on the year, is coming off a three-game sweep of Hungary on the East Coast and looks to finish final preparations before opening Olympic play on August 9 against 2012 silver-medalist Spain.

Tickets for matches in San Diego and UCLA are on sale and can be purchased by visiting the links below.

In Russia, Team USA meets a squad that also punched their ticket to Rio at the Olympic Qualification Tournament this past March in the Netherlands.

Live streaming via USA Water Polo TV at Facebook.com/USAWP and live stats via The FOSH will be available for every match.

San Diego ticket information

UCLA ticket information

Men's water polo

The USA men's cadet national team continued their winning ways at the UANA Junior Pan American Championship defeating host Canada, 18-15, on Monday night in Edmonton.

Menlo School junior Nick Bisconti scored once and drew five exclusions for the Americans.

Tyler Abramson and Luis Araya each scored six goals in the victory with Sam Murphy recording nine blocks in net.

Team USA got out to a hot start opening up with a 6-3 lead after the first quarter and a 12-6 lead at halftime.

Canada rallied in the third outscoring Team USA 6-3 to close the deficit to 15-12. The two teams were even in the fourth quarter with three goals each leaving the United States winners at 18-15.

The United States and Canada both went 7 of 13 on power plays.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/USA water polo

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