USC's Daube & Vavic Win Junior World Championship Gold|
Aug 25, 2013
VOLOS, GREECE -- It's been a busy year for the Trojans around the world. USC women's water polo players have gathered Olympic and World Championship medals in the past year to go along with the Trojans' 2013 NCAA Championship victory. Now, three Women of Troy have capped a busy summer with medals earned at the FINA Junior World Championships. Today in Volos, Greece, Team USA -- which boasts Trojan juniors Eike Daube and Monica Vavic -- held off Spain -- which boasts Trojan sophomore Anni Espar -- in the gold-medal match. Daube and Vavic will bring their Junior World Championship gold medals back to Troy, while Espar has added yet another medal to her trophy case with today's silver.
Anni Espar has had an incredible year indeed. Last September, she was a member of Spain's first Olympic women's water polo team and won silver at the 2012 Games in London. In her freshman season at USC, Espar scored the game-winning goal for the Trojans in the 2013 NCAA Championship. Then, this summer, she capped back up for Spain at the FINA World Championships in her hometown of Barcelona and won gold with Team Spain at Worlds. But she wasn't quite done. Still of age for the Junior National Team, Espar teamed up again with her fellow Spaniards for this month's FINA Junior World Championships to help guide her younger teammates to the medal stand with today's silver-medal finish.
For Eike Daube and Monica Vavic, this month's trip to Greece with the U.S. Junior National Team was the first major world event for the two Trojans, who are on their way into their junior season at USC. Daube and Vavic helped anchor a strong USA squad in Greece, as the U.S. team went undefeated through the FINA Junior World Championships en route to today's big win that saw Daube and Vavic finish the day on the top of the podium with gold medals. Those medals will pair well with the two Trojans' 2013 NCAA Championship hardware, won back in May with two other Trojan competitors who were in action in Greece -- Spain's Espar and Australia's Jayde Appel.
The Aussies missed the medal stand in the FINA Junior World Championships, but Appel did pick up her own shiny hardware last month at the FINA World Championships. Like Espar, Appel pulled double duty with her national team this summer. She won silver at worlds with Australia, while USC goalie Flora Bolonyai won bronze with Team Hungary at the FINA World Championships last month.
Now with their international summers complete, junior national teamers Appel, Espar, Daube and Vavic are set to team back up with their fellow international Bolonyai and the rest of the Women of Troy back home in order to begin their NCAA championship defense for the 2014 season to come.