With a win over Kazakhstan, USC women’s water polo goalie Flora Bolonyai led the Hungarian national team to qualification for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The sophomore was on a brief hiatus from USC to secure her country a spot in this month’s event.
In 2011, Bolonyai played in all 27 games as a true freshman and earned All-America Honorable Mention. She finished with 212 saves (7.9 saves per game) and allowed 182 goals (6.7 goals-against per game). She set her career high with 13 saves against San Diego State and averaged 10 saves per game at the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
The quarterfinal round at the Women’s Water Polo Olympic Qualification Tournament was intense. By the time the water settled in Trieste, Italy, the Olympic women’s water polo field was complete. Along with Bolonyai’s Hungary team, former Trojan Sofia Konoukh helped Russia qualify as well, putting Konoukh in position for her fourth Olympic appearance.
Tumua Anae, Lauren Wenger and Kami Craig of the United States will also represent the cardinal and gold in London. Wenger and Craig were on the 2008 team, while Anae will experience the Olympics for the first time in London. Craig, who won back-to-back Peter J. Cutino Awards (top college player), teamed with Anae on USC’s 2010 national championship winner. Wenger is the veteran of the trio and renowned for her ability to play every position besides goalkeeper.
Former Trojans, Canadians Joelle Bekhazi and Rosanna Tomiul, and Ilse van der Meijden of the Netherlands came up just short of an Olympic spot. Van der Meijden and the Netherlands won gold in 2008 in Beijing.
The 2012 Olympic women’s water polo field features Australia, China, Hungary, Italy, Great Britain, Russia, Spain and United States.