Cardinal women’s water polo represented at Rio Olympics

Makenzie Fischer, Melissa Seidemann, Maggie Steffens, Kiley Neushul (Courtesy Stanford Athletics)
From left: Makenzie Fischer, Melissa Seidemann, Maggie Steffens, Kiley Neushul (Photo Courtesy Stanford Athletics)

Four Stanford women’s water polo players will represent the United States at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this summer. MAKENZIE FISCHER, KILEY NEUSHUL, MELISSA SEIDEMANN and MAGGIE STEFFENS were named to the U.S. Olympic Women’s Water Polo Team last week.

Fans will have a chance to see those four and the rest of Team USA at Avery Aquatic Center when Stanford hosts “Rumble to Rio,” its heralded quadrennial Olympic send-off for the United States. This year’s event will pit the U.S. against Russia on Wednesday, July 27, at 7 p.m. Ticket information and further details for “Rumble to Rio” will be announced in the coming weeks.

Fischer, who signed a National Letter of Intent with Stanford in the fall of 2014, deferred her enrollment and will be a freshman on the Farm beginning with the 2016-17 academic year. Neushul, a two-time Peter J. Cutino Award winner and three-time NCAA champion, wrapped up her Stanford career in May 2015 and finished as the Cardinal’s third all-time leading scorer with 222 goals.

Seidemann and Steffens won gold at the 2012 London Olympics with Team USA. Seidemann graduated in 2013 following a season in which she scored 75 goals, won the Peter J. Cutino Award and was named Player of the Year by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) of the Year. Her 239 career goals are tied for the most in Stanford single-season history and are ninth in MPSF history.

A two-time FINA Women’s Water Polo Athlete of the Year and United States team captain, Steffens was the 2012 Olympics MVP after scoring 21 goals in London. A two-time NCAA champion and the 2015 ACWPC Player of the Year, Steffens took the 2015-16 academic year off from Stanford and possesses one more season of eligibility with the Cardinal.

The United States will open competition at the Olympic Games on Aug. 9 against Spain. The medal round is scheduled for Aug. 19.

The U.S. Olympic Women’s Water Polo Team is currently ranked No. 1 in the world. It has won every major tournament since 2014 including the FINA World Championship, FINA World Cup, Pan American Games and three FINA World League Super Final titles. This past March the group claimed gold at the Olympic Qualification Tournament, earning a berth to the 2016 Olympic Games following a 19-0 victory over France in the quarterfinal round.

Read the full story on the Athletics website.