Eight returning Olympians, including several with strong ties to Southern California, were named Wednesday, June 23 to the roster for the powerhouse U.S. women’s water polo team bound for the Tokyo Olympics.
Team USA will be seeking a third consecutive Olympic gold medal as it competes its sixth Summer Olympics.
Coach Adam Krikorian announced that returning Olympians Ashleigh Johnson, Maddie Musselman, Melissa Seidemann, Rachel Fattal, Maggie Steffens, sisters Aria and Makenzie Fischer and Kaleigh Gilchrist would be part of the 13-player squad.
Seidemann and Steffens, the team captain, made their third consecutive Olympic team.
The first-time Olympians were Paige Hauschild, Stephania Haralabidis, Jamie Neushul, Alys Williams and Amanda Longan, the back-up goalie to Johnson.
Musselman (Corona del Mar), Fattal (Los Alamitos), the Fischers (Laguna Beach), Gilchrist (Newport Harbor), Haralabidis (Corona del Mar) and Williams (Edison) rose the ranks playing high school in Orange County.
Williams made the squad after being the final player cut in 2016 and joining the national team in 2013.
Hauschild (San Marcos), Neushul (Dos Pueblos) and Longan (Oaks Christian) also played high school water polo in the CIF Southern Section.
The announcement was void of any major surprises. The squad matched the U.S. roster from the recent FINA World League Super Final in Greece with the exception of Mira Costa product Jordan Raney.
Neushul’s sister, Kiley, a key member of the 2016 Olympic team, announced her retirement in April.
The U.S. federation said final approval of the selections is made the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
This post first appeared on ocregister.com