Sports

Stanford players head to FINA Worlds with USA water polo

 

Nine Cardinal will be among 20 athletes heading to the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea with the United States.

Five of the nine are part of the 13-player roster for the water polo competition and the remaining four are part of Team USA's seven-person squad for the beach water polo competition, which will be in its first year at the FINA World Championships.

Alumnae Kiley Neushul, Melissa Seidemann and Maggie Steffens are joined by undergraduates Aria and Makenzie Fischer on the roster that will compete in the traditional competition, which begins July 14 against New Zealand followed by group games against the Netherlands (July 16) and South Africa (July 18).

Crossover games are on July 20, the quarterfinals July 22 and the semis on July 24 with a champion crowned on July 26.

Alumnae Jamie Neushul, Jordan Raney and Gabby Stone will compete in the inaugural beach water polo portion of the event alongside 2019 MPSF Newcomer of the Year Ryann Neushul, recently returned from two weeks of sports diplomacy with the current Cardinal team in Chengdu, China and the Tibetan Plateau of Sichuan Province.

Team USA will open the beach competition on July 13 against China before taking on Australia (July 14) and Spain (July 16) with the championship scheduled for July 18.

The Fischers, Neushuls, Raney, Seidemann and Steffens led the United States to gold at the FINA World League Super Final in Budapest, Hungary last month, a victory which qualified the United States for the 2020 Olympic Games next summer in Tokyo.

Makenzie Fischer, who scored four times in the first five games of the tournament, erupted for four goals in the final, a 10-9 win over Italy, to lead the USA attack and was named player of the match. In all, Cardinal players were responsible for 41 of Team USA’s 78 goals at the World League Super Final (52.6 percent).

The United States has won the last two FINA World Championships and five overall. Two years ago at the event in Budapest, Stone became the second starting U.S. goalkeeper to win both a FINA World Championship and an NCAA title, joining Stanford’s Jackie Frank, who won a collegiate championship in 2002 and a world crown in 2003.

Additionally, Aria Fischer and Raney joined Makenzie Fischer as the three women that have won FINA World Championships at each of the youth, junior and senior levels.

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