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Men's and Women's Water Polo Ready to Face Canada

The teams will face their Canadian counterparts in a best-of-three FINA World Cup qualifying series beginning today.

The U.S. men's and women's water polo teams will face their Canadian counterparts in a best-of-three FINA World Cup qualifying series beginning today.

The women's games will be played at Foothill High School in North Tustin, today and Wednesday, with a third game, if necessary, to be played Thursday. All games will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The U.S. is the world's top-ranked women's water polo team. Canada is tied with Spain for seventh in the rankings compiled by FINA, the worldwide governing body for aquatics.

The U.S. is 8-0 against Canada this year, including a 15-11 victory in the Holiday Cup Thursday.

There are five Orange County players on the 13-player U.S. team -- center Annika Dries of Laguna Beach, a member of the gold medal-winning team from the London Olympics, attackers Rachel Fattal of Seal Beach, Makenzie Fischer, a junior at Laguna Beach High School and Jillian Kraus of Santa Ana and defender Alys Williams of Huntington Beach.

Canada is coached by Guy Baker, the U.S. coach in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

The FINA women's World Cup will be played in a yet-to-be determined city in Russia Aug. 12-17.

The men's games will be played at the Santa Ana YMCA today and Wednesday, with a third game, if necessary, to be played Thursday. All games will begin at 10:30 a.m. Admission is free.

The U.S. is ranked sixth, seven spots ahead of Canada.

The U.S. is 4-2 against Canada this year, with victories in each of its last four games.

There are seven Orange County players on the 13-player U.S. team -- centers John Mann and Lucas Reynolds, both of Newport Beach, attackers Bret Bonanni of Huntington Beach, Nolan McConnell of Laguna Beach and Josh Samuels of Villa Park and goalkeepers Andy Stevens of Villa Park and McQuin Baron, a senior at Mater Dei High School who lives in North Tustin.

The FINA men's World Cup will be played in Almaty, Kazakhstan Aug. 19-24.

-- City News Service

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