Four former UCLA water polo players either playing for or coaching USA Water Polo Senior National Teams are amidst the 2011 FINA World Championships.
On the men's side, UCLA's Adam Wright has helped the USA Men's National Team advance to the quarterfinal round of the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China. Wright currently serves as the UCLA men's water polo head coach and is among the most veteran players on the USA National Team. Team USA lost its first two preliminary matches, but rebounded with a 20-3 win over South Africa and a critical 17-4 victory against Canada on Sunday.
The men's team will face Hungary in a quarterfinal match on Tuesday (2 p.m. local time, 11 p.m. PST Monday) in a rematch of the gold medal final from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
On the women's side, UCLA's Kelly Rulon and Courtney Mathewson are competing for head coach Adam Krikorian, who played at UCLA from 1992-95 before serving as head coach of the men's and women's programs until May 2008.
The women's team lost to Russia, 9-7, in the quarterfinal round on Monday, halting Team USA's quest for a three-peat at the FINA World Championships. Leading 6-2 early in the third quarter, Team USA was blitzed by five straight Russian goals to give up a lead in which the United States would not regain. Team USA moves into the fifth through eighth place bracket, slated to face the loser of a Canada-China tilt on Wednesday (12:10 p.m. local time, 9:10 p.m. PST Tuesday).
The loss to Russia brings an end to a streak of five straight World Championships in which the United States played for a medal. Included in that run were three gold medals and one silver medal. It also signals the end of title in every major FINA Championship over the last two years - one World Championship gold medal, one World Cup gold medal, and three FINA World League Super Final gold medals.