US Men’s Water Polo Team Hosts Italy for a Three-Match Series in Southern California

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With McQuin Baron out, Alex Wolf will have to stand tall against a talented Italian side. Photo Courtesy: Catharyn Hayne

To close out their 2018 season, the U.S. Senior Men’s National Team has invited a few friends into town—specifically, the Italian National Team—for a three game set that starts tonight at Foothill High School, 7 p.m. (PST) in Tustin, CA.

Tomorrow the action moves to Chapman University in Orange at 4 p.m. (PST) and then finishes at JSerra High School in San Juan Capistrano on Monday at 11 a.m. (PST).

Team USA will have a variety of athletes who will get in the water for this series, including Olympians Ben Hallock—recently named 2018 ACWPC Player of the YearAlex Obert, Jesse Smith, Alex Bowen and Luca Cupido, who may end up returning with the Italians to practice with Pro Recco.

Team Head Coach Dejan Udovicic will not have 2016 Olympic goalie McQuin Baron available, so Alex Wolf—recently named a finalist for the Peter J. Cutino Award—and Drew Holland, who has traveled extensively with the national team, will have to protect the American cage from the sharp-shooting Italians.

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Alex Bowen will be asked to shoulder the U.S. scoring load. Photo Courtesy: USA Water Polo

Also absent is attacker Alex Roelse; both Baron and Roelse recently finished their studies at USC and UCLA respectively

For Italian Head Coach Sandro Campagna, all his players are professionals from the Italian Serie A1 League, which is on Christmas break.

From Pro Recco: Matteo Aicardi, Francesco Massaro, Francesco Di Fulvio, Gonzalo Echenique and Alessandro Velotto.

With them from AN Brescia are: Zeno Bertoli and Nicholas Presciutti; from BPM Sport Management are Jacopo Alesiani, Lorenzo Bruni, Luca Damonte, Edoardo Di Somma, Vincenzo Dolce, Andrea Fondelli and Gianmarco Nicosia; Roma Nuoto is represented by Francesco De Michelis and Matteo Spione.

Campagna’s squad—with Olympians Di Fulvio, Fondelli, Presciutti and Velotto—is light on representatives from the Rio Games, where the Italians captured bronze. But the squad assembled in Southern California represents the best that Italy has to offer, presenting the Americans with a stern test.

All three matches will air LIVE on Eleven Sports and at YouTube.com/USAWP. Eleven Sports is available on DirectTV, Verizon Fios and ATT U-Verse, for more information on the channel, click here.