An NCAA Championship earns a water polo team all kinds of benefits: trophies, commemorative apparel, the adoration of a grateful student body – and often a trip overseas to represent your country.
The World University Games (the Universiade) in Gwangjou, Korea are upon us and the Stanford women along with their UCLA male counterparts are in Korea, each selected to represent the United States against the best the rest of the world’s college-age athletes. The games are held every other odd year, last in Kazan, Russia in 2013.
Both squads feature a blend of experienced and newer athletes. The Cardinal are bringing incoming freshman Kat Klass along with more experienced Jamie Neushul and Daniela Jackovic. The Bruins, led by former USA Olympian Adam Wright, feature Ryder Roberts and Anthony Daboub, each with men’s senior team experience. They also will take newcomers s Kent Inoue and Austin Rone, who will fill the big hole left by injured goalkeeper Garrett Danner.
— Stanford Water Polo (@Stanfordh2opolo) June 30, 2015
In Kazan the men’s team, also from UCLA, lost to eventual gold medalists Hungary in the quarterfinal round after going 5-2-1 in group play. The Cal women struggled going winless in the group stage and falling to champions Russia, also in the quarterfinals.
The 2015 competition begins on July 2. Team USA’s women will take on rivals Australia the following day and the men face Russia on the 4th of July.
Both teams have arrived and await the event’s opening ceremonies. You can follow each team on Twitter as they experience both the huge sporting event and the Korean culture in which it takes place. To prepare themselves better for what that culture was like the women’s team enlisted the help of a university professor to round out that knowledge. Watch that and more about Stanford’s preparation in this Stanford Athletics-produced video.
— WorldUniversityGames (@WUGUSA) June 29, 2015