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Locals help U.S. teams win gold at UANA Youth Pan American Championships

(Courtesy of Bob Stemler)

The United States men’s and women’s youth national water polo teams each won gold this week at the UANA Youth Pan American Championships in Trinidad & Tobago.

The U.S. youth men’s team, featuring five local players and Newport Harbor coach Ross Sinclair as an assistant coach, topped Brazil 19-8 on Friday for the gold medal. The youth women’s team, with Laguna Beach coach Ethan Damato as the head coach, beat Canada 14-5 to claim the tournament win.

Team captain Tanner Pulice, an incoming senior attacker at Corona del Mar High, scored three goals for the U.S. men’s team in the final. Incoming Newport Harbor senior center Ike Love and Huntington Beach junior Chase Dodd also scored fourth-quarter goals for Team USA.

Newport Harbor incoming senior left-hander Tommy Kennedy and senior defender Reed Stemler also contributed for the youth men, who went 8-0 in the tournament and won every match by at least six goals.


The U.S. youth women’s team featured CdM incoming senior goalkeeper Maya Avital as team captain, as well as Laguna Beach incoming junior left-handed attacker Emma Lineback and CdM incoming junior attacker Grace Myers. Lineback had one goal in the final.

Avital was named the top female goalkeeper in the tournament. Team USA won every match by at least nine goals, as the final actually represented the smallest margin of victory.


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