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SHANGHAI, China, July 23. THE women's water polo classification matches began today at the FINA World Championships with initial 13-16th place semifinals as well as quarterfinals for the rest of the draw.
In the first quarterfinal match of the day, The Netherlands smashed New Zealand, 14-6. Frederike Jacobie Cabout and Iefke van Belkum both tallied a hat trick for The Netherlands, while Kelly Fiona Mason and Lauren Jane Sieprath each collected two goals for New Zealand.
Australia followed with a 10-9 nailbiter over Hungary. Rowena Evelyn Webster turned in a four-for-five shooting performance from the field for Australia, while four different players notched two goals each for Hungary.
Russia wasted no time thumping Cuba in the third quarterfinal of the night with a 26-4 drubbing. Ekaterina Lisunova (five), Ekaterina Prokofyeva (four), Evgenia Soboleva (four), Natalia Ryzhova-Alenicheva (three) and Evgenia Ivanova (three) all have hat tricks or more in the whitewashing. Hirovis Hernandez Consuegra scored half of Cuba's goals with two.
China enjoyed its home pool with a convincing 15-6 defeat of Spain. Ma Huanhuan connected for five goals, while Sun Yujun and Sun Yating each notched a hat trick in the victory. Bianca Gil Sorli paced Spain with three out of its six goals.
In the first of two 13-16 semifinal matches, Kazakhstan edged Uzbekistan, 14-13. Darya Vassilyeva came up big for Kazakhstan with a four-goal night to lead the way to victory. Ramilya Halikova's incredible eight-goal effort for Uzbekistan was not enough to secure the win.
Brazil clipped South Africa, 10-9, in the other 13-16 semifinal match of the day. Marina Canetti and Luiza Carvalho paced Brazil with two goals each, while Sarah Lee Harris tallied nearly half of South Africa's goals with a four spot.