June 25, 2013, Ottawa (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport, in conjunction with Water Polo Canada, announced Tuesday the student-athletes and staff members who will represent the country in women’s water polo at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia.
This will mark the third appearance for women’s water polo at the world university games. Canada barely missed the podium in 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia, finishing in fourth position, and followed up with a sixth-place finish in 2011 in Shenzhen, China.
Team Canada head coach Andrew Robinson has realistic expectations for the Kazan tournament.
“This is the first multi-sport games for all of the athletes involved, it will be a great experience. We plan to embrace and enjoy the experience while staying focused on our objective of developing as athletes and as a team by competing against some good teams,” said Robinson, who played for Canada’s men’s squad four years ago in Belgrade. “We have a strong young group with talented athletes at each position and good depth throughout the roster. The coaching staff is very happy with the level of focus and team mentality of the athletes coming into camp. They have responded well to the training and are gaining valuable experience through training with the world championships squad.”
The lineup heading to Russia is comprised of goaltenders Jessica Gaudreault of Ottawa and Claire Wright of Toronto; two-metre guard Shelby Taylor of Calgary; drivers Shae Fournier of Winnipeg, Danika Kotylak of Maple Ridge, B.C., Kelly McKee of Calgary, Taylor Molde of Regina, Cara Robinson of Calgary and Gurpreet Sohi of Delta, B.C.; as well as centre forwards Rae Lekness of Calgary, Elyse Lemay-Lavoie of Montreal, Rebekka Steenkamer of Ottawa and Alexa Tielmann of Abbotsford, B.C.
While no team member has multi-sport games experience, most have represented Canada on the international stage in recent years.
Gaudreault, Wright, Kotylak, Molde, Robinson, Lekness and Tielmann wore the Maple Leaf at the 2012 world youth championships, where Canada took fifth place.
In 2011, Gaudreault, Taylor, McKee, Molde, Lekness and Steenkamer helped Canada to a ninth-place finish at the world junior championships. Fournier was part of the team that placed fifth at the 2009 junior worlds.
The eight-team Universiade tournament is set for July 6 to 16.
In the preliminary round, Canada will battle in Pool A against Italy (July 6), host Russia (July 8) and Japan (July 10). Pool B is comprised of the United States, Australia, France and Hungary.
Two years ago in Shenzhen, the Canadians finished with an overall record of one win, one draw and four losses, including an 8-6 defeat at the hands of Italy in pool play and a 9-7 loss to Russia in the quarter-finals.
Summer Universiade website: www.kazan2013.com/en
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2013
New FISU champions will be crowned on July 16 as two-time reigning gold medallist China will not be competing in the Kazan tourney. The USA and Russia captured silver and bronze, respectively, in Shenzhen.
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
Position Name University Hometown
Goalie Claire Wright Loyola Marymount Toronto, Ont.
Goalie Jessica Gaudreault Indiana Ottawa, Ont.
2-Metre Guard Shelby Taylor Indiana Calgary, Alta.
Driver Gurpreet Sohi Stanford Delta, B.C.
Driver Cara Robinson San Jose State Calgary, Alta.
Driver Shae Fournier Indiana Winnipeg, Man.
Driver Kelly Mckee California Berkeley Calgary, Alta.
Driver Danika Kotylak Hawaii Maple Ridge, B.C.
Driver Taylor Molde Hawaii Regina, Sask.
Centre Forward Rae Lekness San Jose State Calgary, Alta.
Centre Forward Elyse Lemay-Lavoie Ahuntsic College Montreal, Que.
Centre Forward Rebekka Steenkamer Concordia Ottawa, Ont.
Centre Forward Alexa Tielmann UCLA Abbotsford, B.C.
Position Name Affiliation Hometown
Head Coach Andrew Robinson Water Polo Canada Lachine, Que.
Assistant Coach Justin Mitchell – Maple Ridge, B.C.
Mentor Coach David Hart – Ottawa, Ont.
Manager & Physio Catherine Lamothe – Ottawa, Ont.
UNIVERSIADE POOLS & SCHEDULE:
Pool A: Russia, Italy, CANADA, Japan
Pool B: USA, Australia, France, Hungary
July 6: Canada vs. Italy
July 8: Canada vs. Russia
July 10: Canada vs. Japan
July 12: Quarter-finals
July 14: Semifinals
July 16: Final
CANADA’S ALL-TIME UNIVERSIADE RESULTS IN WOMEN’S WATER POLO:
2011 Shenzhen, China: 6th / 9 teams (champions: China)
2009 Belgrade, Serbia: 4th / 8 (champions: China)
About the Summer Universiade
The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years and is second only to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. The Universiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.