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Greenwich places four girls on All-American water polo team; Screnci earns First-Team accolades

Updated 11:27 pm, Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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After going a perfect 19-0 this spring, it's not surprising to see the Greenwich High School girls water polo team well represented on the All-American team.

Four Cardinals earned All-American honors, by the National Interscholastic Coaches Association, with senior Daniela Screnci headlining the list as a First Team selection. Junior Paige Neary was chosen on the Third Team, while junior Claire Baxter was a Fifth Team selection. Hollis Jomo, also a junior, earned Honorable Mention.

Maureen Sullivan of Mason High School (Mason, Ohio) and Laura Travers from Wilson High School (West Lawn, Pa.) were also named First Team All-American. Screnci, who will continue her water polo career at Long Beach State -- one of the top-rated teams in the nation -- led the Cardinals in scoring, amassing an astounding 92 goals.

"She gave us goals when we really needed them," GHS coach Bill Harris said. "Daniela really showed her importance to the team in the close games against tough opponents."

A four-year starter, Screnci was a difficult assignment for each team she faced. One of her many highlights came when she scored a game-high nine goals in the Cardinals' 18-11 win against Navy Aquatic Club. In one of their most competitive games of the spring, Greenwich led 5-2 after the first quarter and 8-5 at halftime. But Screnci helped Greenwich widen its lead with a big second half.

"She was a pure scorer and had one of the hardest shots we have seen on our team in many years," Harris said. "When you needed a goal she's the one you wanted taking the shot. Against Navy, she kept us ahead in what was a really physical game, showing great endurance and discipline."

Screnci's versatility in the pool was also a plus.

"Daniela played two-meter, but she would go wherever we needed her," Harris said. "We could count on her no matter where she played."

Neary, who also played a two-meter position, was the Cards' second leading scorer, netting 59 goals.

"Paige got better and better during the season and she is still improving," Harris said. "She's a strong swimmer, she's fast and aggressive and has a really powerful shot."

Baxter and Jomo sparked the squad defensively, while also registering key goals.

"They were both really good at positioning themselves on defense," Harris said. "Also, when you have Claire and Hollis up on top you are going to score a lot of goals. They were smart, heady, defensive players and very good swimmers."

Harris knew this year's Cardinals squad was special group.

"This was a really strong team because of our depth," he said. "That reflected in four of our girls being named to the All-American team. We had girls coming off the bench, who in years past, would have been starters. We have a good core of players coming back, so we should be a tough team to beat next year."

david.fierro@scni.com;

203-625-4423

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