July 20, 2011
TEMPE - Four individuals with ties to the Arizona State University water polo program are currently in Shanghai, China, representing their home countries in the 14th FINA World Championships. The event, which features 16 nations in the women's water polo tournament, started with games on July 17 and will run through the championship final to be played on July 29.
Recent graduate Sarah Harris and rising senior Kelsey White both are competing for South Africa, which is in Group D with the Cuba, China and Italy. Rowie Webster, who played for the Sun Devils in 2006, is once again playing for Australia and will take on Canada, New Zealand and Serbia in Group B. Rita Keszthelyi, who recently signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Sun Devil program, is playing for her native Hungary, who is in Group A with Kazakhstan, Spain and the United States.
So far, each team has played two games (July 17 and July 19) with Australia and Hungary both sitting at 1-1 and South Africa standing 0-2 with the final game in group play set for July 21. Statistically, all four women have started both games for their national teams with each having scored at least two goals in the tournament Keszthelyi currently has seven goals through two games and ranks tied for second in overall goals scored so far.
Harris and White both got the start in South Africa's opener against the hosts (China) with White scoring twice and Harris once in their team's 22-5 loss. RSA lost, 18-2, in the second game to Italy with both starting once again and Harris netting one of the team's two goals. South Africa plays Cuba next. Harris recently completed her second and final season with the Sun Devils, scoring 39 goals and adding a team-high 26 assists while earning All-MPSF Honorable Mention. White, who will be a senior in 2012, was fifth on the team in scoring with 45 points on 26 goals and 19 assists.
Webster, who scored 63 goals in her lone season with the Sun Devils in 2006 and earned Third Team All-America honors that year, netted a pair of goals in Australia's 10-7 opening game loss to Canada. She started the second game as well and added two more goals, this time as her team defeated New Zealand, 12-4. The final group game for Australia will come against Serbia on July 21.
An incoming freshman, Keszthelyi has become the offensive leader for Hungary as she opened the tournament with five goals in a 21-6 defeat of Kazakhstan. She added two more scores in the second game, but her team fell to the U.S., 16-7. Next up for Hungary will be Spain in the final group game.
Following the July 21 group games, the teams will be placed into games based upon their group finishes. The fourth-place teams in each group will play a pair of games with the best possible finish in the tournament being 13th place. Teams that finish second and third in their groups will play one another (2A vs. 3B, 3A vs. 2B, 2C vs. 3D, 3C vs. 2D) with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals against the group winners. From there, the bracket plays out to determine the remaining places in the tournament.
For more information on the games, including results, schedules and statistics, visit the FINA.org web site: http://www.fina.org/H2O/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=1097.
Group A - Hungary (1-1)
July 17: Hungary def. Kazakhstan, 21-6
- Keszthelyi starterd and scored 5 goals
July 19: USA def. Hungary, 16-7
- Keszthelyi started and scored 2 goals
July 21: Hungary vs. Spain
Group B - Australia (1-1)
July 17: Canada def. Australia, 10-7
- Webster starterd and scored 2 goals
July 19: Australia def. New Zealand, 12-4
- Webster started and scored 2 goals
July 21: Australia vs. Serbia
Group D - South Africa (0-2)
July 17: China def. South Africa, 22-5
- Harris started and scored 1 goal
- White started and scored 2 goals
July 19: Italy def. South Africa, 18-2
- Harris started and scored 1 goal
- White started, but did not score
July 21: South Africa vs. Cuba
Games will be played July 23, 25, 27 and 29 as all 16 teams in the tournament will place out through 16 places