Locals fare well in pool

Laguna's Andersen helps club team to fifth-place finish at Junior Olympics

Former Breaker Dries leading Team USA in New Zealand.

August 19, 2010|By Mike Sciacca,

Laguna Beach High athlete Yoshi Andersen played on the Huntington Beach Water Polo 16-Under girls' team that placed fifth in its division at the USA Water Polo S&R Sport 2010 Junior Olympics, held Aug. 5 through 8 at various sites in the Los Angeles area.

The event was held in the Los Angeles area for the first time in the 41-year history of the national tournament.

Anchored by Andersen, an attacker, Alys Williams (Edison High) and goalie Savanna Smith (Los Alamitos High), the team went 5-1 in the tournament. Huntington won its first four games against Clovis, Los Angeles Water Polo, Santa Barbara B and Trojan (Los Angeles). The loss came against Commerce in the quarterfinals. Huntington, however, rebounded to defeat Xtreme (Corona) and Chino Hills Area Water Polo.


The fifth-place game between Huntington and Chino Hills was a rematch between the teams, with Chino Hills winning the first meeting in the Junior Olympics qualifying tournament.

"The girls worked hard and played great," Huntington Coach Vicky Barker said. "To come back and beat CHAWP by seven goals after losing to them by one only six weeks ago was a great way to end the tournament."


Dries competing for Team USA

Former Laguna Beach High aquatics standout Annika Dries is playing for the USA Senior National Water Polo Team at the FINA World Cup in Christchruch, New Zealand. Dries, a 2009 graduate of Laguna Beach, is one of 17 players on the USA World Cup Roster.

The tournament began Tuesday and runs through Sunday. It's the final major tournament of the summer season for Team USA, which won the gold medal at the FINA World League Super Final in July and last week finished second at the Six Nations Tourney held in Sydney, Australia.

Dries scored two goals Tuesday as Team USA opened World Cup play with a 14-10 victory over Russia. Dries didn't break the scoring column Wednesday in Team USA's 7-5 loss to defending World Cup champion Australia on the second day of play. She powered her way for a team-high three goals Thursday as Team USA pounded New Zealand, 18-8, to finish group play at 2-1.

Team USA is playing without veterans Lauren Wenger (Long Beach) and Heather Petri (Orinda), who stayed home due to injuries.

The United States has medaled in every major championship during the last 10 years, including winning the silver medal at the 2002 FINA World Cup in Perth, Australia. However, Team USA hasn't won the World Cup since 1979.

"We are all very aware of the history of the women's team and understand that the ultimate prize at this competition has eluded many teams in the past," Coach Adam Krikorian said in a statement. "We would love to change that fortune, but we must focus on the steps it will take to reach that goal."

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