Started off fairly relaxed, but was been our earliest game at 4 pm. We spent the morning and early afternoon together preparing for our game. Since we were ranked third in our group we had to play 2nd ranked team in a different group, which was Australia. If we won this game we would move up to the 1st through 8th place. If we lost we would go to the bottom 9th through 14th.
We did a good job holding them off until only 45 seconds left in the first half. We had made an attack on their goal, but Australia made a strong counter attack with three people onto our side and scored. We finished the half time with Australia up 1-0.
The second half we spent a lot of time around the Australian basket making attacks, but we were not able to finish with the ball in the basket. It was a good match up, but Australia had a found a hole in our defense and capitalized on it. It was probably the best we have played in this tournament.
We had no game today! We did some site seeing and enjoyed seeing Graz!
Day 6- Tomorrow
Since we are no longer going for top 8, we are now fighting for position 9th through 14th. Tomorrow we have two games! The first game at 8 am CET (2 am EST, 1 am CST, 12 am MST, 11 pm PST) versus Denmark wearing blue. Then tomorrow evening against Great Britain, we play at 19:00 CET (1:00 pm EST, 12:00 pm CST, 11:00 am MST, 10:00 am 10:00 am PST), wearing white.
If you would like to follow the results, click here or the button link below. Live stream link will be posted on this channel.
Today was the third day of the tournament. We knew it would be our toughest game so far. Germany is the reigning 2015 World Champions and also has a strong women's league and as a whole, has a lot of experienced players. At the 2015 World Championships, the USA lost to Germany 31-0, but we knew we could do better than that!
We had a nice warm up today, which included dancing and going down the slides in the outdoor pool! We danced out our nerves and prepared for the challenge ahead.
Germany came out hard from the first sprint and turned it into a goal within the first minute. That shook us up a little. We tried to maintain composure, but then one of our goalies was given a 2 minute penalty after a German player had stolen our basket. We defended hard, until she was allowed back into the game. Shortly after, we also had a defender receive a 2 minute penalty. The was not great. Once we were back at full strength, we were able to calm down and get back into a better rotation. We were able to make some plays toward the other side of the pool, but we were not able make many strong attacks. We finished the first half at 7-0.
After half time, we started with a new plan to try to hold them off. It worked better, and allowed more opportunities to swim and we made good passes on counter attacks. This seemed to work, and they only scored four more goals in the second half with a final score of 11-0.
Overall, it was a hard fought game, and the score shows how far we have come as a country playing UWR over the past four years.
Tomorrow is a new day, and we are ready for the crossover games between our group A and group C. This game will decide if we move up to first through eighth place, or play ninth through thirteenth. We play Australia, wearing white, at 16:00 CET ((10 am EST, 9 am CST, 8 am MST, or 7 am PST). We do not have the link for the live stream yet, but it should be posted on this channel. Look for the video with "Live Now" on it.
Also, if you have been trying to go back and watch later, we are sorry, it seems the live stream at the end of the day is missing some of the games. Hopefully they will post the individual matches soon! Here is the link to the start of the Germany game from the live stream.
Today was another late game. Most of us had worked out the majority of our nerves in our first game, so people seemed a bit more relaxed at breakfast. We followed a similar routine today as we did yesterday, with some relaxation time, video review, and creating a game plan for our game against Spain.
We arrived a little early at the pool to cheer on the USA Men who were playing Luxembourg. They won 16-1! Congrats boys!!
After the men's game was over, we put on our suits and then did our team stretches, breathing exercises and in water warm up. We did our team cheer and did a little motivational talk from our Vice Captain and Birthday Girl Laura, and the word of the day from Captain Katrina. Then we were ready to line up for the national anthem and pennant exchange.
We started the game strong, but there was a lot of back and forth. Spain maintained possession the majority of this half. We were comfortable with that, because they were not making strong attacks on our goal. Our defenders and goalies are solid, and our forwards were doing a good job keeping the attacks away. We ended the first half tied 0-0.
During half time we talked about turning our turnovers and pass interceptions into faster breaks, so we worked on that and had a lot better counter attacks. Eventually we scored our first goal was about 7 minutes into the second half. It was a strong play after a counter attack. With the first attempt on goal by Katrina who was tackled from behind, but she maintained possession to pass to Julia who used her strength and skill to lift the goalie off and put it into the basket through several sets of hands. It was an impressive goal!
After that, the Spanish started making more attacks on our goals. At one point, two Spanish girls made a strong counter attack when we only had one goalie down. Angela did a beautiful job stoping them and gaining possession of the ball to pass it off to a teammate.
With less than 4 minutes remaining in the game, the Spanish made another counter attacks on our goal, but we managed to turn it over and start our own counter attack that began with Charlene making a pass to Julia who maintained possession with three girls attacking her, and then made a good pass to Katrina who was waiting near the bottom. Katrina was able to slip out of the hands of one Spanish player and sprint to the open basket. Her fin was grabbed just before putting it in and she ended up hitting the ball on the rim, but luckily she recovered and put it in!
For the remaining few minutes we did our best to maintain possession and kept Spain out of our goal area. This worked and we finished with a win!! We went 2-0 for Laura's 20th birthday!!! Those goals were for you :)
Today we play Germany, the defending World Champion, so today is going to be a good game. Game starts at 17:00 CET (or 11 am EST, 10 am CST, 9 am MST, or 8 am PST).
Here is the link to the live stream for today!! If for some reason the link isn't the current live stream, look for "Live Now" in red on a different video to find the current one.
The first official day of the tournament is here (yesterday). Our game was the second to last game of the day, starting at 7 pm. This gave us all day to get nervous and also find creative ways to work out our nervous energy.
We spent some time watching video, meditating, and reviewing team strategy. This helped prepare us well for the upcoming battle. We did not know what to expect from Turkey coming into this game as the U21 women's team had won the U21 world championships last year.
Around 4 pm we finally headed to the pool. We planned to get there early to go through our gear and make sure we had all of our suits and caps. We did a little dancing and did some team stretching and breathing exercises before our water warm up. Once in water we did some swimming to warm up our ankles and lungs. We finished a bit early and allowed everyone time to personalize the remainder depending on what they need.
Ten minutes before game time, we lined up ready to walk up the stairs to the pool deck. We walked up to the pool for the national anthem. We felt pride as we stood their getting ready to represent the United States of America. The captains exchanged pennants, and quickly got ready to play.
The game started off fast. Our sprinter barely got to the ball first, but did not gain clear possession. From there the rest of the game was a series of swarming pit of sardines. We are not clear if to call this a jumble or scrum, because we have never played like this before. We prefer to play under the water, but it felt like every time we received a pass, there were two or three Turkish ladies on us, dragging us up to the surface.
We came into the game with a good plan on how to defend around our goal, and we did it well. Turkey scored one goal in the first half. They had stolen our basket, after tricking our goalie to go up. The girl who had stolen our basket stayed down a long time our goalies rotated above her, but unfortunately she managed to stay down and received the ball and scored the goal about 9 minutes into the game. The rest of the first half was jumbled up at the surface with the occasional swim across the pool.
The second half began similarly, with both teams got the the ball at about the same time. We had worked our nerves out during the first half, and we did a better job at swimming the scrum across the pool into the Turkish half.
At about 5 minutes into the second half, we were keeping the ball on their side for a while, and at one point Luisa won the scrum and was able to get a pass down to Yuli who did a quick pass to Jacqui who then passed to Laura who was waiting below. Laura was able to and capitalized on a mistake in the rotation of the goalies on their basket, but still had to fight off the defender as she pushed the ball in behind them. It was a goal for the ages, also the last goal of her teenage years!! It is her birthday today!!
The remainder of the game was a bit more fun as we were able to do more swimming and quick passes, but still some scrums on the surface. We ended with a tie at 1:1, as the only close game the entire day.
Today, we have our second game against Spain at 7:00 pm CET (1:00 pm EST, 12:00 pm CST, 11:00 am MST, 10:00 am 10:00 am PST). Live steaming link should be here.
P.S. Happy Birthday Laura!!!
After many hours of traveling, we made it to Graz, Austria! Most of us arrived by Monday this week. We have spent the past few days adjusting to the time zone and utilizing some extra pool time to make sure we are ready for our first game. We started off with some friendly scrimmages on Tuesday evening against the Australia women and the Graz women (including women from the Austrian National Team). Wednesday we had some pool time to do some drills in the lovely outdoor pool. We enjoyed the beautiful weather and scenery that was included in the outdoor pool. Today we had our official training time in the tournament pool. We refined some skills and did some walk throughs to iron out some kinks in our play. We finished off this evening with a friendly scrimmage against Canada. It was a lot of fun to play against our neighbors to the North! Tomorrow we have our last friendly scrimmage against Great Britain and Saturday will be the first official tournament match!
Here is the live stream link for official World Championship YouTube channel. Opening Ceremonies begin tomorrow at 8 pm CET (or 2 pm EST, 1 pm CST, 12 pm MST, or 11 am PST), which should also be live streamed.
See below for our game schedule, as well as the mens team's schedule
All the games after Monday depend on how we are seeded in our group, so we will keep you posted on our results! Closing ceremonies are on August 3rd.
Live Streaming on this YouTube Channel: