Even though in the women’s water polo tournament no teams are eliminated before the quarterfinals, each game is important for seeding heading into the next round.
Spain picked up that important win, defeating China 12-8.
Spain came into Saturday’s game against China with a win and a loss and tied for second place in Group B.
China never led in the game, but also never let Spain get ahead by more than two goals through the first three quarters. Leading 9-7 heading into the final quarter, Spain outscored China 3-1 in the final eight minutes to take the lead to four goals.
The high scoring match saw eight combined goals in the second quarter. China’s Cong Zhang had three of her team’s first six goals in the first half, and finished with three to lead the Chinese squad. China did well on extra player opportunities, scoring four goals on five chances. They struggled from beyond five meters though, going just 2-11.
Laura Ventosa finished with four goals for Spain to lead all scorers. However, Ventosa had to leave the game early midway through the third quarter after taking a blow to the head. Maica Godoy added three goals for Spain and Laura Ramos had nine saves in goal.
Spain finishes group play 2-1. China finishes 0-3 and in fourth in Group B. Quarterfinal play begins Monday.
Italy led by at least one or two goal through the first half of their game Saturday against Russia, and that lead only grew as the match went on, finalizing with a 10-5 win over Russia.
Italy’s top scorer leading up to the Olympics was Tania Di Mario, however Di Mario has been held quiet in the Rio Games, and was 0-3 on Saturday. Luckily for Di Mario, Italy has plenty of other weapons, with goals coming from five different players Saturday, including four players with more than one score.
The lead at half was 5-3, and grew to four goals by the end of the third quarter after Italy got goals from Arianna Garibotti, Roberta Bianconi and Aleksandra Cotti, who scored with just four second remaining in the third.
Bianconi led Italy with three goals. On defense, goalkeeper Giulia Gorlero had 12 saves on 16 shots. She stopped eight of 10 action shots and all three shots coming from beyond five meters. Italy blocked three shots as a team and had five steals.
Italy remains undefeated, going a perfect 3-0 in group play to head into the quarterfinals at the top of Group A. Russia falls to 1-2.
A balanced scoring attack from Australia, with goals coming from eight different players, helped the team bounce back from a loss to defeat Brazil 10-3.
After ending the first quarter tied 1-1, Australia scored three straight goals and took a 4-2 lead into halftime.
The third quarter went much the same as the second, with Australia again scoring three unanswered goals, two of which came from Rowie Webster in the center position.
Webster finished with two goals, one of two Australians to score multiple goals in the game. Keesja Gofers added two goals for the Aussies.
Australia had a 7-2 lead heading into the final quarter and simply never let up to allow Brazil any opportunity to cut into the deficit. Defensively, they had 10 steals, three from Gofers, and blocked three shots. Goalkeeper Lea Yanitsas saved five of eight shots on the day.
Australia (2-1) finishes second in Group A. Brazil (0-3) finishes fourth.