Aug. 1, 2012
LONDON -In a back and forth affair, the USA's women's water polo team tied with Spain, 9-9, in a Group A match Wednesday (Aug. 1) at the Olympic Water Polo Arena. Two members of Team USA with Cal connections - Elsie Windes (2004-07) and Heather Petri (1997-99, 01) - both competed in the contest.
Windes played a little more than 16 minutes in the match against Spain, recording two key assists. Her assist to Kami Craig with 3:13 left in the third period enabled Team USA to tie the score, 6-6. Windes' assist to Brenda Villa with 5:56 in the fourth period gave the Americans an 8-6 advantage. Unfortunately, the United States was not able to maintain its advantage.
Petri, the oldest member of the USA Olympic team at 34, saw 6:15 minutes of action against Spain.
Team USA is now 1-0-1 in London and will next face China (0-2) on Friday, Aug. 3. The Americans opened the Olympics with a 14-13 win over Hungary on July 30.
Team USA features seven returners from the 2008 team that won the silver medal in Beijing, China, including Petri and Windes. The Americans clinched a berth to the 2012 Olympic Games by winning the gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, with a 27-26 victory over Canada, Oct. 29, 2011. Canada had featured Emily Csikos, who will return to Cal for her senior year in 2013 under head coach Richard Corso. Csikos helped the Bears to a national runner-up finish in 2011.
Petri and Brenda Villa are the first U.S. women to compete in four consecutive Olympic Games in water polo. Women's water polo first became an Olympic sport at the 2000 Sydney, Australia games.
Petri lettered at Cal from 1997-99 and returned to finish her degree and eligibility in 2001. The Orinda, Calif., native earned her third Olympic medal in 2008 after taking home a bronze medal in 2004 and silver in 2000. Windes, a Portland, Ore. native, made her first Olympic appearance in 2008 after a stellar career for the Bears, earning All-America honors from 2005-07.