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Water Polo

Four Local Preps Selected to USA Women’s Water Polo Team for Intercontinental Tournament

Abbi Hill (left), Paige Hauschild, Jewel Roemer, (second from right), and Ryann Neushul (right) made the USA Water Polo Senior National Team for the FINA Intercontinental Tournament. The photo was taken at the FINA Youth World Championships in New Zealand, where they were joined by Santa Barbara’s Lara Kostruba, who was playing for Germany. Click to view larger
Abbi Hill (left), Paige Hauschild, Jewel Roemer, (second from right), and Ryann Neushul (right) made the USA Water Polo Senior National Team for the FINA Intercontinental Tournament. The photo was taken at the FINA Youth World Championships in New Zealand, where they were joined by Santa Barbara’s Lara Kostruba, who was playing for Germany. (Peter Neushul file photo)

Four local high school girls water polo players have been named to the U.S. Women's Senior National Team for the FINA Intercontinental Tournament, May 2-7 at UC Davis.

USA Water Polo National Team coach Adam Krikorian selected San Marcos senior Paige Hauschild and the Dos Pueblos trio of junior Ryann Neushul, sophomore Abbi Hill and freshman Jewel Roemer to his 13-player roster. 

It's the largest-ever contingent of local players on a senior national team for an international competition. The gold-medal winning Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil had three local players: Kami Craig, Kiley Neushul and Sami Hill.

The Intercontinental Tournament squad also features two-time Olympic gold medalist Melissa Seidemann and 2016 Olympic champion and CIF-Southern Section Division 1 champion and Player of the Year Aria Fischer of Laguna Beach High.

Team USA will be joined by Australia, Canada, China, Japan and Kazakhstan in the tournament, which marks the first competition for the Americans since winning the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil. The U.S. kicks off the tournament against Kazakhstan on May 2.

For Hauschild, this marks the second time she's played on the U.S. senior team. Her debut was at the FINA Intercontinental Tournament in New Zealand in 2015. The U..S. won the gold medal.

The USC-bound Hauschild recently led San Marcos to the CIF-SS Division 1 Final, where the Royals lost Laguna Beach.

Hauschild, Neushul, Hill and Roemer — products of the Santa Barbara 805 Water Polo Club — all played for the USA Water Polo Youth National Team at the FINA Youth World Championships in New Zealand last December. The team placed fifth.

Neushul, Hill and Roemer were members of a Dos Pueblos team that advanced to the CIF Division 1 semifinals.

In addition to Fischer, Krikorian selected goalie Thea Walsh from Laguna Beach to the roster and named Breakers coach Nathan Damato to his staff for the tournament. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Natalie Benson is also an assistant coach.

Krikorian is giving 11 high school-aged players the opportunity to play on the senior team because the tournament takes place during the NCAA women's college season, thus limiting the availability of several athletes with Team USA experience.

2017 FINA Intercontinental Tournament Team USA Roster (Hometown/School/USAWP Club)
GK - Thea Walsh (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET)
GK - Georgia Phillips (Fresno, CA/Clovis North HS/Rose Bowl Water Polo Club)
C - Ava Johnson (Walnut Creek, CA/Las Lomas HS/680 Water Polo)
D - Melissa Seidemann (Walnut Creek, CA/Stanford/NYAC)
C - Aria Fischer (Laguna Beach, CA/Laguna Beach HS/SET)
C - Abbi Hill (Santa Barbara, CA/Dos Pueblos HS/Santa Barbara 805)
D - Bayley Weber (Los Alamitos, CA/Los Alamitos HS/SET)
A - Ali Thomason (San Rafael, CA/Michigan/Marin WPC)
A - Paige Hauschild (Santa Barbara, CA/San Marcos HS/Santa Barbara 805)
U - Ryann Neushul (Goleta, CA/Dos Pueblos HS/Santa Barbara 805)
A - Jewel Roemer (Isla Vista, CA/Dos Pueblos HS/Santa Barbara 805)
A - Sarah Klass (Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS/680 Water Polo)
U - Lexi Liebowitz (Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS/680 Water Polo)

Head Coach: Adam Krikorian
Assistant Coach: Natalie Benson
Assistant Coach: Ethan Damato
Team Leader: Kat Manderino


Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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