You’ll have to forgive Tiera Schroeder if she has trouble keeping track of her time zones for awhile.
The Bears junior water polo player has logged some serious air miles this summer traveling abroad for two of the biggest tournaments in her sport.
First, she joined her Golden Bear teammates to participate in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia in July. Now, she is in Volos, Greece representing the United States at the FINA World Junior Championships.
“This summer has been unbelievable,” said Schroeder, the niece of four-time Olympian and former U.S. National Team Coach Terry Schroeder. “I never thought I would be traveling this summer but to my surprise I got to go to Russia and Greece to play in two of the largest tournaments in my sport. Russia was an awesome trip and I am so happy to have spent it with my teammates. We had a wonderful experience over there and I believe we learned a lot. As for Greece, it is fun to be on this team. I can’t wait to see what this trip brings us all.”
The United States opened play in Volos on Monday with a 14-4 victory over Kazakhstan in the preliminary round. Schroeder scored a goal early as the Americans raced out to a 6-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The junior championships are a culmination of a busy summer for Schroeder. She began trying out for the team in the middle of June and was ultimately named to the 13-player roster in July, the day before the Bears left for Russia. The team then trained for a week in Los Alamitos before departing for Greece.
“The training week before we left for Greece was very tough,” Schroeder said. “We spent many hours in the water, under the hot sun. It was not only mentally tough, keeping your body going for so long, but was physically tough to fight against the strongest and best players in my age group. I really enjoy playing with this group of girls. I think it is fun to be great rivals and fierce opponents and then come together as one and try to win a World Championship.”
The U.S. team features several players Schroeder and the Bears see in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, with athletes from USC, UCLA and Stanford.
The preliminary rounds run through Wednesday and then it’s on to the quarterfinals. The Americans play Italy on Tuesday and New Zealand on Wednesday.
“I think this summer has really improved me as a player,” Schroeder said. “I hope to bring some good experience back to share with my team.”