Women’s Water Polo: Team USA Plays Against College Squads

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., March 18. THE U.S. women’s water polo team will continue its series against women’s collegiate teams when it faces Brown University this Friday (March 21) at the USA Water Polo National Aquatic Center in a 4:30 p.m. contest. Admission will be free.

This will be Team USA’s first game against a college team since a 7-2 win over NCAA Champion Stanford back on February 19. That win marked the first time a USA Water Polo National Team has faced a college team that was in season. Brown, the 2001 Eastern Champion, appeared in the first women’s NCAA Final Four for water polo in 2001.

“This will be an excellent chance for us to get a game in and work on things that we’re training for,” said Team USA head coach Guy Baker. “But it will also be a good opportunity for Brown to play against the National Team and for the fans to come out and see us in action.”

But Team USA isn’t finished with its tour of the collegiate top three. On Tuesday (March 25), the U.S. women will head to Los Angeles to take on the No. 2 USC Trojans. USC happens to be the alma mater of U.S. goalkeeper and Olympic and World Cup silver medalist Bernice Orwig (Anaheim, CA/USC ’99). She will be in the cage to start the game.

“USC is going to be a really tough game as well,” said Baker. “They’re well coached and Sofia Konukh (also of the Russian National Team) is one of the best players in the world right now. And it’ll be nice for Bernie to get out there against her old team. It’ll be fun.”

On April 12, the National Team will be making a pit-stop at UCLA to face the No. 3 Bruins, the former school of goalkeeper Nicolle Payne (Cerritos, CA/UCLA ‘01) and center Catharine von Schwarz (Annapolis, MD/UCLA ‘01). Attackers Amber Stachowski (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) and Thalia Munro (Santa Barbara, CA) are currently taking time off from UCLA to train full-time with Team USA, and 18-year-old UCLA-bound Gabbie Domanic (Santa Ana, CA/Foothill High School) will get acquainted with her some of her future teammates, oddly enough in this case, as an opponent. But it might be oddest of all for Baker, who spent his collegiate coaching days guiding the Bruins’ men’s and women’s teams to several national titles in the 90s.

“My time at UCLA was tremendously special,” said Baker. “So I guess it will be a bit of a trip down Memory Lane for me, too.”

Baker feels that these types of games are good for the sport on many levels. “Well, first of all these teams give us a good test during our training as we prepare for World Championships and Pan Ams this summer,” he said. “And I think it’s special for any of these teams to have the opportunity to play against the National Team. It also gives people a chance to see us come out and play and it helps to promote the sport.”

Team USA Roster

Jennifer Crisman
Defender
6’0”
Grand Rapids, MI
Michigan ‘02

Margaret Dingeldein
Attacker
5’6”
Merced, CA
Stanford ‘02

Gabbie Domanic
Attacker
5’5”
Santa Ana, CA
Foothill High ‘03
SoCal

Ellen Estes
Center
6’0”
Novato, CA
Stanford ‘02

Ericka Lorenz
Attacker
5’10”
San Diego, CA
Cal Berkeley ‘04

Heather Moody
Center
6’0”
Green River, WY
San Diego State ‘02
New York Athletic Club

Thalia Munro
Attacker
5’10”
Santa Barbara, CA
UCLA ‘05

Bernice Orwig
Goalkeeper
6’1”
Anaheim, CA
USC ‘99

Nicolle Payne
Goalkeeper
5’9”
Cerritos, CA
UCLA ‘01
New York Athletic Club

Heather Petri
Defender
5’11”
Orinda, CA
Cal Berkley ‘02

Kate Pettit
Defender
5’9”
Bainbridge Island, WA
Stanford ‘02

Amber Stachowski
Attacker
6’0”
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
UCLA ‘05
Golden West

Catharine von Schwarz
Center
5’9”
Annapolis, MD
UCLA ‘01
New York Athletic Club

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Author: Archive Team

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