International Trojans Representing on FINA Super Final Rosters
May 30, 2013
Next week in China, there will be a USC reunion of sorts. When 13 of the world's top women's water polo teams hit the pool for competition at the 2013 FINA World League Super Final, there will be a grand total of eight current and former Women of Troy in the mix. Four of those players -- Anni Espar (Spain), Jayde Appel (Australia), Hannah Buckling (Australia) and Monica Vavic (USA) -- were teammates on USC's recent 2013 NCAA Championship squad. Three others -- Joelle Bekhazi (Canada), Tumua Anae (USA) and Kami Craig (USA) also boast a national championship as teammates in 2010. In men's competition a week later, five Trojans -- Australia's James Clark and Joel Dennerley and Team USA's Shea Buckner, Tommy Corcoran and Michael Rosenthal -- will splash down to represent their countries in Russia.
Following the announcement of the U.S. national team roster for the Super Final, the rest of the tournament field and rosters have come to light. Australia has selected two Trojans, Jayde Appel and Hannah Buckling, who shined for USC during the run to the 2013 national championship. So, too, has Spain recalled its top scorer at the 2012 Olympic Games and USC's NCAA game-winner, Anni Espar. Continuing as a leader for Canada, 2011 USC grad Joelle Bekhazi is signed on for action in China as well. She'll be able to reunite with her 2010 championship teammates Tumua Anae and Kami Craig -- 2012 Olympians who are back in the water for Team USA. USC sophomore Monica Vavic has earned her first call-up to the U.S. senior squad to join her fellow Trojans Anae and Craig, while also having to square off against her current USC teammates Appel, Buckling and Espar. Playing for the Netherlands as their go-to goalie once again is Ilse van der Meijden, a former Trojan who won gold with the Dutch team at the 2008 Olympic Games. The 2013 FINA Women's World League Super Final will run June 1-6 in Beijing, China.
On the men's side, there's also a strong set of Trojans lined up for action at the FINA Men's World League Super Finals, held June 11-16 in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Soon after the U.S. men's roster was announced with three Trojans in the mix, Australia released its plan of attack for the Super Final and will be bringing back two USC goalies for action in Russia. Aussies James Clark and Joel Dennerley -- both 2012 Olympians -- will cap back up in red for Australia. Dennerley anchored USC through four straight national championships before handing the torch to his Aussie backup Clark. Clark stepped in and kept the momentum going for the Trojans, who won their fifth consecutive title in 2012 during Clark's first season at Troy. Clark and Dennerley will get to reunite -- albeit in different uniforms -- with three other Trojans while in Russia. Clark and Dennerley have both teamed up with Team USA newcomer Michael Rosenthal, who has been at USC through all five championship runs. Also on the U.S. roster is 2008 and 2009 NCAA championship team-member Shea Buckner, as well as 2008 USC grad Tommy Corcoran.
Follow all the FINA WOrld League Super Final action HERE
TROJANS ON 2013 FINA WORLD LEAGUE ROSTERS: