FINA World Championships, Water Polo: Women’s Preliminary Matches Commence

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ROME, Italy, July 19. THE first day of water polo action featured women's preliminary competition at the FINA World Championships held in Rome.

Hungary topped China, 10-7, in the first match. Rita Dravucz notched a hat trick for Hungary, which went 10-for-19 from the field. Sun Yu Jun, Wang Yi and Ma Huanhuan each tallied two goals for China, which converted on 7 of 28 shots.

Russia followed with a 14-9 defeat of Greece. Ekaterina Pantyulina scored four goals for Russia, which connected on 14 of 28 shots for a 50 percent success rate. Kyriaki Liosi matched Pantyulina's output with four goals for Greece, but the team went 9 for 20 overall.

The U.S. smashed Kazakhstan, 19-6. Kameryn Craig led the way for the American with four goals, while Brittany Hayes and Moriah van Norman each tallied a hat trick. The U.S. went 19-for-34 from the field. Six separate players scored for Kazakhstan, which went 6-for-23.

In another thrashing, New Zealand downed South Africa, 12-5. Kelly Mason paced New Zealand with a hat trick, as the squad went 12-for-36 from the field. Sarah Harris notched three goals for South Africa, which converted on 5 of 19 shots.

Canada and Australia tied in their match, 6-6. Dominique Perreault led Canada with two goals, as the Canadians went 6-for-21. Rowena Webster also had two goals for Australia, which connected on 6 of 29 shots.

Spain beat Germany, 17-12, on the back of a tremendous effort from Blanca Gil. Germany did not have an answer for Gil, as she tallied 7 goals on 12 shots. Overall, Spain went 17-for-26, a 65.4 percent success rate, from the field. Katrin Dierolf proved to be nearly as dominant as Gil with a 6-for-12 effort for Germany. The Germans went 12-for-30.

The Netherlands defeated Brazil, 11-7. Iefke van Belkum collected four goals for The Netherlands, while teammate Mieke Cabout hit the back of the net three times. The Netherlands went 11-for-38 from the field. Camila Pedrosa notched five goals for Brazil, which converted 7 of 21 shots.

The least competitive match concluded the day with Italy crushing Uzbekistan, 20-3. Tania di Mario led a balanced Italian attack with four goals, while teammate Giulia Emmolo collected a hat trick. Italy went an outstanding 20-for-34, a 58.8 percent success rate, from the field. Natalya Plyusova accounted for two thirds of Uzbekistan's goals with two as the team went 3-for-20.

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