Five To Represent Team USA

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LOS ANGELES – Stanford will be well represented among the United States Olympic Team, with five players heading to this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, as announced Wednesday.

Aria Fischer, Makenzie Fischer, Jamie Neushul, Melissa Seidemann and Maggie Steffens were named to the 13-member squad, which features eight returners from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and two returners from the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Team USA enters next month’s competition as the two-time defending Olympic champions and three-time defending World Champions.

Two-time Olympic gold medalists Steffens (team captain) and Seidemann will anchor a squad that features five first-time Olympians.

Sisters Aria Fischer and Makenzie Fischer were members of the 2016 gold-medal winning team in Rio while Neushul is making her Olympic debut.

The 13 athletes are the centerpiece of a program that has become the most dominant women’s water polo team on earth. Holding a No. 1 ranking and every major available title since 2014, Team USA enters Tokyo as the favorite to return to the top of the podium. Already the first nation to win two Olympic titles in women’s water polo, the United States previously held a 69-game win streak, the record in the modern era of women’s water polo. This included an undefeated 2019 season where the squad went 37-0 while earning World Championship, World League and Pan American Games crowns.

Under a new format for the Tokyo Olympic Games, each nation will declare 12 active players before each match of the competition. The reduction in gameday roster size from 13 to 12 was part of an expansion in the overall number of teams competing. The size of the women’s tournament is now at 10 countries, up from eight, making it the largest Olympic women’s water polo tournament ever.

Team USA is the only nation to medal in every Olympic Games featuring women’s water polo, winning gold twice (2016, 2012), silver twice (2008, 2000) and bronze (2004).

 

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