Of local note: Water Polo set to make a big splash in the area


The UANA Junior Pan American Championships in Clearwater, Fla. kick off another week of competitive water polo that leads into the biggest water polo tournament in the world.

Sacred Heart Prep's Alex Tsotadze is part of the U.S. men's junior national team that will compete in Florida. The Americans open with Brazil at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at the Long Center.

Alex Tsotadze
Part of Group A, Team USA will also meet Argentina and Puerto Rico before placement games begin Friday.

The U.S. women's junior national team opens Wednesday against Puerto Rico at 8:20 a.m. The U.S. will also play Brazil, Argentina and Canada in group play.

The USA Water Polo Women's Senior Nationals, formerly known as the US Open of Water Polo, begins Friday with Stanford entered along with Cal, SOCAL 'A' & 'B', S & S Bruin, Sun Devil, Santa Barbara Premier, Sunset, Davis, Michigan, Santa Barbara 805, Bulldog, Red Fox, Rose Bowl, Santa Clara and USA Youth.

Several of Stanford opponents also feature Stanford or local athletes on their rosters.

The New York Athletic Club will be defending its title at El Toro High and JSerra High in Orange County.

The Junior Olympics, which features teams from across the nation in several age groups and both genders, get underway July 20 at various venues around the Bay Area, including Stanford, Menlo School, Sacred Heart Prep and other locations.

Girls water polo

The Stanford 16U team won its last four games to finish ninth at the U.S. Championships on Sunday. Stanford beat American River, 6-3, in the ninth place game at Norco High.

Stanford featured a roster that includes Sacred Heart Prep's Annabel Facey, Eleanor Facey, Bella Bachler, Ola Szczerba, Menlo-Atherton's Sybelle Paulsen, Natalie Knoz, Menlo's Annie Bisconti, Sophie Golub, Castilleja's Lexi Triantis, Anjali Khambham, Gunn's Cooper McKenna, Kate Mallery and Palo Alto's Chesnie Cheung. St. Francis' Elise Walker and Harker's Arushi Madan also played.

The team opened with losses to San Diego Shores (9-5) and Rose Bowl (6-2) in group play and then a win over CHAWP (13-7).

In placement play, Stanford beat SET Pink, 14-2, at Capistrano Valley High on Saturday and then beat Lamorinda, 9-6, Sunday morning at Norco High.

Saddleback El Toro won the 16U division, beating SoCal, 7-6, in the semis and Rose Bowl, 6-5, in the finals.

The Stanford 18U team placed 11th, beating CHAWP, 6-3, in its final match at Tustin High.


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