Super Final Women's Teams

(Mouseover Large Flags for Team Rosters)

Europe: RussiaRUS (3-2)

Russia (RUS)

    Antonova, Aleksandra
    Belyaeva, Olga
    Berdnikova, Ludmila
    Gaufler, Yulia
    Glyzina, Nadezda
    Ivanova, Evgeniya
    Karpovich, Oleksandra
    Kirichenko, Elizaveta
    Konukh, Sofia
    Kovtunosvkaya, Maria
    Pantyulina, Ekaterina
    Prokofyeva, Ekaterina
    Protsenko, Evgenia
    Ryzhova-Alenicheva, Natalia
    Shepelina, Natalia
    Smurova, Elenan
    Soboleva, Evgenia
    Tankeeva, Ekaterina
    Timofeeva, Anna
    Turova, Olga
    Vorontsova, Valentina
    Vylegzhanina, Alena

    Head Coach: Kleymenov, Alexander    
    Assistant: Naritsa, Alexander

10 points*
  SpainESP (2-3)

Spain (ESP)

    Del Soto Traver, Patricia
    Ester Ramos, Laura
    Hagen Del Poyo, Irene
    Pardo Perarnau, Anna
    Pardo Perarnau, Cristina
    Perez Valverde, Laura Mª
    Aller Garcia, Clara
    Lopez Aliaga, Cristina
    Lopez Ventosa, Laura
    Lopez-Escribano Jara, Miriam    
    Ortiz Reyes, Matilde
    Pareja Lisalde, Jennifer
    Garcia Godoy, Mari Carmen
    Gil Sorli, Blanca
    Peña Carrasco, Mª Del Pilar
    Diaz Lizaran, Mª Angeles
    Messeguer Flaque, Ona
    Head Coach: Vicenç Tarrés
    Assistant: Sergio Aguilera
5 points
Asia / Oceania:      AustraliaAUS (3-2) 8 points

Australia (AUS)

    Beasdworth, Gemma    
    Brown, Victoria
    Cuffe, Nikita
    Frazier, Suzie
    Gofers, Taniele
    Gynther, Kate
    Hetzel, Amy
    Knox, Bronwen
    Knox, Emma
    McCormack, Alicia
    Mills, Sarah
    O’neill, Patrice
    Santoromito, Jenna
    Santoromito, Mia
    Rippon, Melissa
    Rippon, Rebecca

    Head Coach: McFadden, Greg    
    Assistant: Osadchnic, Alex    

  ChinaCHN (0-5)

China (CHN)

    Ao, Gao
    Fei, Teng
    Fengmin, Mo
    Huanhuan, Ma
    Huizi, Sun
    Jin, He
    Jun, Yang
    Leiying, Qiao
    Ping, Liu
    Sun, Yujun
    Yating, Sun
    Yi, Wang
    Ying, Tan
    Ying, Wang

    Head Coach: Jane Giralt, Joan    
    Assistants: Shenghua, Pan &
            Xicheng, Hong

1 point
Americas: USAUSA (5-0)


    Van Norman, Mariah
    Amstrong , Betsey
    Cardenas, Patty
    Craig, Kami
    Figge, Erika
    Golda, Natalie
    Gregorka, Alison
    Hays, Brittany
    Hipp, Jaime Elizabeth
    Petri, Heather
    Steffens, Jessica
    Villa, Brenda
    Wenger, Lauren
    Windes, Elsie

    Head Coach: Baker, Guy    
    Assistant: Kopp, Kyle &
        Moody, Heather

15 points
  CanadaCAN (2-3)

Canada (CAN)

    Bertrelette, Daniel
    Alogbo, Kristina
    Bekkazi, Joeile
    Campbell, Tara
    Crook, Jenna
    Csikos, Emily
    Janssens, Marissa
    Lize, Sandra
    Monton, Katrina
    Morriscan, Joanne
    Perreault, Dominique
    Riddell, Rachel
    Robnson, Christine
    Roosu, Marina
    Tomivic, Rosanna

    Head Coach: Patrick Oaten
    Assistant: Bethelotte, Daniel    

6 points

*natural win 3 pts; shoot-out win 2 pts
shoot-out loss 1 pt; natural loss 0 pts

Tuesday, June 10 (Click on small flags for stats)

Game #1 AustraliaAUS 9 vs USAUSA 10

Santa Cruz del Tenenfe, Spain -- The USA Women's Senior National Team opened the 2008 FINA World League Super Final with a bang as they defeated Australia 10-9. It was a close game throughout as the score was tied after the first and second quarters and Australia led by a goal after three. In the first quarter Natalie Golda found the net followed by Heather Petri on a counter attack. In the meantime Australia has scored three of their own but then with just fifteen seconds left in the period Jessica Steffens scored to tie the game.

In the second stanza the Aussies put up three more scores but so did the Americans as Petri hit again joined by Lauren Wenger and Elsie Windes. In addition goalie Betsey Armstrong stopped a penalty shot to keep things close. The third quarter saw Australia build a one goal lead at 8-7 as the only USA score came from Petri, her third of the day.

Team USA battled back in the fourth with scores from Natalie Golda, Brenda Villa, and Patty Cardenas to take the lead at 10-9. Betsey Armstrong was huge in net coming up with two crucial man-down saves in the final two minutes. "We are off to a good start. However, today was just the first game and we will have five more games to go. We play Russia tomorrow which will be another very difficult game," said USA Head Coach Guy Baker after the win. USA meets Russia at 8:00am PST on Wednesday.


USA: 10 (3, 3, 1, 3) H. Petri 3, N. Golda 2, L. Wenger 1, B. Villa 1, P. Cardenas 1, J. Steffens 1, E. Windes 1
AUS: 9 (3, 3, 2, 3)

6x5 -- USA 3-8 -- AUS 3-6 -- Penalty - AUS 0-1

Saves: B. Armstrong - 11

Game #2 CandaCAN 7 vs RussiaRUS 15

In the most decisive victory of the day, Russia defeated Canada by a score of 7-15. It was the first and last quarters which proved to be team Canada’s demise. Russia started the game strong, scoring six points in the opening quarter while Canada managed only two. In the second and third periods however, Canada regained their composure. The second was close and ended with a score of 1-2 for Russia, and the third concluded with a 3-1 score in Canada’s favour. Thus, going into the final period, the score was 6-9 and a come-back was not beyond Canada’s reach. But this was not to be. Russia finished as strong as they had started, scoring six points, while Canada had just one.

Russia’s Ekaterina Pantyulina was outstanding in this match, scoring five goals. Other scorers for Russia were Sofia Konukh with three, as well as Natalia Shepelina, Ekaterina Prokofyeva, Alena Vylegzhanina, Nadezda Glyzina, Olga Belyaeva, Julia Shurova, Yulia Gaufler, each of whom scored once. The main scorer for Canada was Joeile Bekkazi with three, while Kristina Alogbo, Joanne Morriscan, Jenna Crook and Christina Robeinson netted one each.

Game #3 SpainESP 10 vs ChinaCHN 9

Spain proved a formidable and insurmountable opponent for team China during the home team’s first game in this tournament. Spain would defeat China by 4-3 in penalties after the regular game ended in a tie at 6-6. Reports from the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation indicate that Spain initially faltered in the first two periods by committing defensive errors that put them behind China by 3-5 at half-time.

The first period was tied at 2-2, but in the second China pulled ahead and the quarter ended with a score of 1-3. Spain came back in the third, which they won with a score of 3-0, but then China took the fourth period by a score of 0-1. The penalty shoot-out to break the tie was just as close, with a score of 4-3 for Spain. Significant contributors to Spain’s win were Anna Pardo Perarnau and Mari Carmen Garcia Godoy, each of whom netted three points, as well as Jennifer Pareja Lisalde, Cristina Lopez Aliaga, Maria Del Pilar Pena Carrasco, and Ona Messeguer Flaque, with one each. Scoring for China in a game that was a real team effort, was Gao Ao with two, while singles came from Teng Fei, Yujun Sun, He Jin, Wang Yi, Ma Huanhuan, Sun Huizi, and Qiao Leiying.

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice


Wednesday, June 11

Game #4 USAUSA 10 vs RussiaRUS 6

Santa Cruz del Tenerife, Spain -- The USA Women's Senior National Team made it two in a row to start at the FINA World League Super Final in Spain as they defeated Russia 10-6 behind a well balanced scoring effort that saw eight different players find the net. Team USA got off to a good start and never looked back as they built a 3-0 lead after the first quarter and were in front 4-1 at the half.

In the second half Russia began to mount more of a rally as they tallied three scores in the third quarter but that was answered by four from Team USA and as played moved in the fourth quarter it was 8-4 with USA in the lead. The fourth quarter saw each team score twice to end the game at 10-6 in favor of Team USA. Brittany Hayes and Elsie Windes led the scoring with two goals apiece while Betsey Armstrong turned aside 12 shots in net.

"We played a solid game and we seem to be gaining some form. Tomorrow we play China which is our opening game opponent at the Olympic Games, it will be another good test," said USA Head Coach Guy Baker. Next up for the team will be a game against China on Thursday at 9:30am PST.


USA: 10 (3, 1, 4, 2) E. Windes 2, B. Hayes 2, H. Petri 1, B. Villa 1, L. Wenger 1, N. Golda 1, P. Cardenas 1, K. Craig 1
RUS: 6 (0, 1, 3, 2)

6x5 -- USA - 2-5 -- RUS - 3-7

Saves: USA - B. Armstrong 12

Game #5AustraliaAUS 10 vs ChinaCHN 8

After the close and heated matches that took place between these two teams during the Women’s World League Asia/Oceania preliminary round (in Tianjin, China from May 20-25), the outcome of this game was anybody’s guess. But once again, Australia prevailed by a small margin of 10-8.

From the opening quarter, which ended in a 2-2 tie, this game was a clash of these teams, which have lately exhibited relatively equal strength. In the second period Australia gain a slight edge by taking a 2-1 lead, but the third quarter finished with a score of 2-3 in China’s hands. In the last period, Australia finished strong, scoring four goals to China’s two and taking the win.

Outstanding in this game for Australia were both Rebecca Rippon and Melissa Rippon, each of whom scored three times, while for China, it was Yujun Sun, Gao Ao (with two each), and Qiao Leiying with three, who largely contributed to China’s total score.

Game #6SpainESP vs 12CandaCAN 10

Reports from the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation describe this as a spectacular second game for teams Spain and Canada in the seventh edition of the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League. The Europeans won 12-10, but it was a tough second match and demonstrated that the home team has something to prove this year in Santa Cruz del Tenerife.

Early in the match, Canada started strong and imposed themselves on Spain by scoring four goals in the first quarter and taking the lead over Spain’s two points. But in the second quarter Spain fought back with an attack supported by solid defence, which restricted the Canadians to one goal, while the home team netted four.

In the second half Spain maintained their form and prevented Canada from outscoring them. In the end, they won by two points. Nevertheless, the top scorer of the match was  Canada’s Christine Robinson with four goals. This win for Spain marks the first occasion they have managed to beat Canada, and puts them in a much better position to potentially reach medal contention.

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice


Thursday, June 12

Game #7 CandaCAN 7 vs AustraliaAUS 6

This match concluded with a 7-6 victory for Canada over Australia in the first game on Day 3 at the Acidalio Lorenzo swimming pool in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands. The Australians (defending silver medallists from 2007) scored first, but it wasn’t long before Katrina Monton tied the match for Canada at 1-1.  With a draw, Canada continued to gain force and they were able to win the match, even though they missed three penalties and a lot of opportunities. Team Australia just did not have a good day and were not able to play at the level they have demonstrated on other occasions where they have reached the podium. With this result, Canada and Australia are now drawn with three points each in the classification.

Essentially, the game was close throughout, and these teams appeared to be almost evenly matched. Canada gained their edge in the first half, when they were at their strongest, and they managed to hold-out their lead until the end. The third and fourth quarters however, resulted in a 1-1 tie and a score of 2-1 for Australia, respectively, although it was not enough to overcome Canada.  Top-scorers for Canada were Joeile Bekkazi and Dominique Perreault, with two points each, while on the Australian side, Gemma Beadsworth netted three.

Game #8 ChinaCHN 8 vs USAUSA 12

It took a full quarter but eventually the USA Women's Senior National Team offense woke up, and did so in a major way scoring 12 goals over the final three quarters to defeat China 12-9 on the third day of the FINA World League Super Final. Erika Figge was huge on offense scoring three goals en route to the win that saw USA shake off 15 exclusions and come back from an early 2-0 deficit.

China came out swinging to start building an early 2-0 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter. USA responded with gusto in the second quarter tallying five scores and claiming the lead at halftime at 5-3. In the second half the Chinese offense returned scoring three times in the third. This was countered by four Team USA Goals and the lead remained in their favor at 9-6 headed to the fourth quarter.

In the final quarter China would continue to try and rally posting three goals but that was matched by three scores from the USA and they would go on for the victory at 12-9 in the high scoring affair. Figge was joined on the offensive parade by Patty Cardenas, Alison Gregorka, and Brittany Hayes who all scored two goals apiece. Lauren Wenger added a goal as well while Betsey Armstrong and Jaime Hipp split time in the cage combining for 12 denials.

"China continues to improve. They will be very tough at the Olympics, as for us I loved our 5x6 on defense today," said USA Head Coach Guy Baker. The next game for Team USA will be on Friday against Canada at 8:00am Pacific Time


USA: 12 (0,5,4,3)E. Figge 3, B. Hayes 2, A. Gregorka 2, P. Cardenas 2, L. Wenger 1, B. Villa 1, H. Petri 1
CHN: 9 (2,1,3,3)

6x5 -- USA - 5-6 -- CHN - 5-15

Saves -- USA - B. Armstrong 8, J. Hipp 4

Game #9 SpainESP 9 vs RussiaRUS 15

In this unfortunate match for the home-team, Spain lost to a very strong team Russia by 9 to 15. Reports indicate Russia controlled the match from the very first minute, while the shabby defense and some offensive mistakes by Spain permitted Russia to take advantage and win with ease. This is Spain’s first defeat in the Championship and they are now third in the classification with five points, while Russia now has six points and sits in second. Top-scorers for Russia were Evgenia Soboleva with four goals, as well as Ekaterina Prokofyeva and Ekaterina Pantyulina with three each. For Spain, Ona Messeguer Flaque and Mari Carmen Garcia Godoy performed well, scoring three each.

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice


Friday, June 13

Game #10 CandaCAN 5 vs USAUSA 6

The USA Women's Senior National Team secured a spot in the title game of the FINA World League Super Final with a 6-5 victory over Canada, their fourth straight win to start the tournament. The two teams have met up quite often already in 2008 and have exchanged several close games with this contest being no different. The game was scoreless after the first period before Team USA broke through with three goals in the second quarter and led at the half 3-1.

In the third quarter each team tallied two goals a piece keeping it at a two goal margin for Team USA at 5-3 going to the fourth. In the final quarter Canada would draw to within one at 6-5 as they outscored Team USA 2-1 in the period but would get no closer as USA hung on for the victory. Team USA was very efficient in their man-up scenarios going 3-4 in the 6x5 game while Canada was just 1-4. Brittany Hayes led on offense with two scores while Betsey Armstrong went the whole way in net impounding nine shots.

"Our games against Canada are always close. Canada is doing a great job and I am impressed with their approach to this tournament. The victory secures our position in the championship game and we are very happy to be back in the title game," said USA Head Coach Guy Baker. Next up for Team USA will be a match with the host country Spain on Saturday before playing in the title game against an opponent to be determined on Sunday. Today also marks the birthday for Team USA's Heather Petri.


USA: 6 (0,3,2,1) B. Hayes 2, E. Figge 1, L. Wenger 1, E. Windes 1, K. Craig 1
CAN: 5 (0,1,2,2) E. Csikos 2, E. Robinson 2, K. Alogbo 1

6x5 -- USA - 3-4 -- CAN - 1-4
Penalty Shots -- USA - 0-1 -- CAN - 1-1

Saves: B. Armstrong 9

Game #11 ChinaCHN 8 vs RussiaRUS 10

This match was just more bad luck for team China, which was beaten by Russia with a score of 10-8. However, the Russians did not secure this victory easily, as China played well and even led the scoreboard until the end of the second quarter, at which point the Russians scored to make it 6-5. From that moment onwards the experience of the Russian team shone through, even though China did not give in and fought well. Essentially, Chinese coach Joan Jane Giralt’s team finally had to give in to a Russia that didn’t have one of it’s best days either, but has 9 points and is second in the classification. High-scorers for China were Sun Huizi with three, and Ma Huanhuan and Teng Fei with two each. For Russia, the formidible Ekaterina Pantyulina continued to demonstrate her skill, scoring four goals.

Game #12 SpainESP 8 vs AustraliaAUS 15

The final match on Day 4 witnessed team Spain lose to Australia 7-11. The Spanish team, with this defeat, is fourth in the classification with 5 points and if it wants to play for the bronze medal on Sunday it might have to win-out against the strength of the USA, although the standings also depend on the result between China and Canada on Day 5.

Spain did not have Cristina Lopez in this match, not did they have several other players (Jennifer Pareja and Blanca Gil), as they have been put out of commission because of muscular injuries. In spite of these absences of these important players, the Spanish team has had a good showing at home. Spain went ahead in the marker in the first minutes, but Australia quickly tied it at 2 and then made it 3 to 4 in their favour by the second period. Then, during the second period, Ona Messeguer tied it at 4, but at that point Australia became more effective in its attack and moved ahead leaving no option for the Spaniards to gain the lead. Notable performances came from Suzie Fraser (AUS) and Anna Pardo Perarnau (ESP), who scored four and three points respectively.

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice


Saturday, June 14

Game #13 ChinaCHN 5 vs CandaCAN 8

This match saw Canada win over China and therefore secure a chance to play for the bronze. The final score was China 5  and Canada 8. China has been unable to win in Tenerife and is therefore last and classified to play for the fifth or sixth position on the final day.

This game was quite simply a rather poor showing for the Chinese, and even though in the first half they were able to tie the score and stay in the game (it was 2-2 after the first quarter and they finished the second period with a respectable score of 3-4) they were unable to beat the force of the Canada geese.

In the third quarter the Canadians executed their attacks well and left China with no option of finding victory. Top-scorers were Joeile Bekkazi (CAN), Yujun Sun and Gao Ao (CHN) each of whom netted two.

In the third quarter the Canadians executed their attacks well and left China with no option of finding victory. Top-scorers were Joeile Bekkazi (CAN), Yujun Sun and Gao Ao (CHN) each of whom netted two.
Game #14 RussiaRUS 13 vs AustraliaAUS 14

The result of this match has secured Russia an opportunity to gamble for gold with the USA. The game ended with a loss to Russia to Australia by a score of 13-14 after a tie during regular time was decided through penalties.

In spite of Russia’s defeat, it has qualified for the final game, since World League regulation grants just 2 points to the winning team in penalties and 1 to the loser. Russia who has been successful in this tournament already, entered the game with 9 points and with the defeat had obtained 10. Australia however, had accumulated only 6 points, and with their win added just 2, leaving it with 8 points in the final classification and a place in the bronze medal match.

Game #15 SpainESP 9 vs USAUSA 11

The USA Women's Senior National Team made it a perfect 5-0 record in round robin play at the FINA World League Super Final as they defeated Spain 11-9. The team now moves on to the championship game against Russia on Sunday at 4:00 am Pacific Time. Team USA defeated Russia 10-6 earlier in the week.

As for the victory over Spain it was Team USA that found themselves down early trailing 2-1 after the first quarter. In the second they mounted an offensive surge putting in four goals to just two from Spain and at the half Team USA was in front 5-4. In the third quarter they built on that lead outscoring Spain 4-3 to take a 9-7 lead in the final quarter. In the last period each team scored two goals apiece with the final score ending at 11-9.

Natalie Golda was big on offense putting in four goals in the victory while Brenda Villa and Kami Craig added two scores apiece. Jaime Hipp did the job in net recording nine saves. "We did a much better job tonight attacking a zone defense. We are looking forward to the final tomorrow against Russia. It will be a very challenging game," said USA Head Coach Guy Baker.


USA 11 (1,4,4,2) N. Golda 4, B. Villa 2, K. Craig 2, L. Wenger 1, B. Hayes 1. M. van Norman 1
ESP 9 (2,2,3,2)

6x5 -- USA - 3-6 -- ESP - 6-8

Saves: USA - J. Hipp 8

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice


Sunday, June 15

SpainESP 5 vs ChinaCHN 7   5th and 6th place

In this final match for the home team, Spain could not win against China and finished in sixth with the game ending in a score of Spain 5 - China 7. On the last day of the tournament, the Spanish team paid the price for the energy they exerted during their game the day before against the USA and was not physically able to match the stength of its rival. 

Meanwhile, the Chinese team had a good game. They closed well defensively and were safe in their attacks. Spain, on the other hand, couldn’t find the form to break the gust of wind that was the Chinese. Vicenc Tarres, Spanish coach, attributed the defeat to the “physical wearing down of the team. They have not recovered from the effort of yesterday against the USA, where we tried to win to be able to be in the bronze medal game.”

AustraliaAUS 7 vs CanadaCAN 6   3rd and 4th place

It is team Australia who is third in this year’s World League having gained victory over Canada by 7 to 6. The Canadian team were actually the first to score and led by one after the first period, but Australia refused to let the North Americans take an insurmountable advantage and had therefore tied the game at 2 by half-time.

In the third quarter, several more goals followed and the period ended with a 3-3 tie as the play heated up. The score steadily rose, and each side took their turn putting the ball in the net. However, it was Australia which set the pace by repeatedly scoring to take the lead while Canada continued to answer by tying the game.

In the last quarter Australia was ahead 6 to 5, but Canada tied it up again at 6. But, despite Canada’s determination, Australia dug deep in the end to score again, and this time their goal was enough to leave the result at a definitive 7-6, giving them the win and the medal.

USAUSA 7 vs RussiaRUS 8  1st and 2nd place

The USA Women's Senior National Team's bid for a third straight FINA World League Super Final title was halted by Russia as Team USA lost 8-7 in the championship game. The loss brings to an end a five game winning streak for Team USA, as they were unable to come all the way back from a first half deficit.

Russia took the lead early on going up 3-2 after the first quarter and then built a 5-2 lead at half as Team USA was held scoreless in the second quarter. In the fourth Team USA rallied outscoring the Russians 3-1 to make it a one goal game at 6-5 in favor of Russia. The final quarter saw each team score two goals apiece and Team USA was unable to get over the hump falling by a goal 8-7

Heather Petri and Brenda Villa led the offense with two scores each and Betsey Armstrong went the whole way in net stopping 10 shots. "Russia played a very good game and should be congratulated. I liked that we were able to get back into the game in the second half. This is a good reminder of the small difference between winning and losing at the international level," said USA Head Coach Guy Baker.

Next up for the team will be a trip to Greece for common training and competition in the Thetis Cup.


USA: 7 (2,0,3,2) H. Petri 2, B. Villa 2, N. Golda 1, E. Windes 1, A. Gregorka 1
RUS: 8 (3,2,1,2)

6x5 -- USA - 4-8 - RUS 3-7

Saves: USA - B. Armstrong 10

WATER POLO PLANET.COM: the Alternative Voice