Water Polo

Water Polo

Water Polo is the oldest modern Olympic team sport having been introduced in the 1900 Games and the New York Athletic Club Water Polo Team has been a part of it since those early days.

Early United States Olympic Teams were decided simply by the winner of the US National Championships. And so began a long tradition of national and international success for the NYAC Water Polo teams, including gold in the 1904 St. Louis Games and representing the US on several occasions. This changed in the 1960's when US Water Polo created a national team and players competed for such coveted spots.

At that point, the NYAC played a critical role in the development of the sport from youth to Olympians as it does today. With multiple National Championships in Men's and Women's Water Polo over the past 25 years, the New York Athletic Club team continues to produce more National and Olympic team players than any water polo program in the country.

For more information about the water polo program, please contact Chris Judge at [email protected].

A Conversation with Jesse Smith, 5-Time Olympian and NYAC Water Polo Player
October 2021

Water Polo i

Water Polo i

2016 Olympics

NYAC Athletes who competed for Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

KK Clark

First Olympic Games; her Uncle, Chris Dorst, is a two-time Olympian in water polo (1980, 1984)

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Kami Craig

Olympic Gold-medalist at 2012 London Games; bronze-medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games; three-time Olympian

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Kaleigh Gilchrist

First Olympic Games; Gold-medalist at the 2015 World Championships

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Ashleigh Johnson

First Olympic Games; recorded 54 saves in Team USA's Olympic Qualifying match

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Courtney Mathewson

Gold-medalist at the 2012 London Games; two-time Olympian

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Melissa Seidemann

Gold-medalist at the 2012 London Games; two-time Olympian

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Maggie Steffens

Gold-medalist at the 2012 London Games; two-time Olympian

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Kiley Neushul

First Olympic Games; three-time NCAA Champion at Stanford University (2012, 2014, 2015)

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Konstantinous Genidounias

First Olympic Games; Bronze-medalist at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Josh Samuels

First Olympic Games; Gold-medalist at 2015 Pan American Games

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Merrill Moses

Silver-medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games; 8th place at the 2012 London Games; three-time Olympian

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Bret Bonanni

Water Polo

First Olympic Games; graduated this year from Stanford University

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Jesse Smith

Rio will be Jesse's fourth Olympic Games; silver-medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

John Mann

Silver-medalist at the 2012 London Games; two-time Olympian

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Alex Bowen

First Olympic Games; Gold-medalist at 2015 Pan American Games

Team USA in the Rio Olympics

Alex Obert

First Olympic Games; Gold-medalist at 2015 Pan American Games

Team USA in the Rio Olympics


Rio, the city where he was born, will be Tony's fifth Olympic Games; Silver-medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games; placed 8th at the 2012 London Games

Meet Our Athletes

Click the names of the athletes below to view Inside Water episodes by USA Water Polo.

Women's Team
Men's Team

Latest News

October 2015

Tony Azevedo, four-time Olympian and captain of the USA Water Polo National team, has been selected to speak on behalf of the athletes at the All Sports Dinner held on Monday, November 16th. Azevedo was inducted into the NYAC Hall of Fame in April of 2015.

"Tony Azevedo, the current captain of the US National Men's Water Polo Team, was voted the Pac-12 Water Polo Player of the Century. While at Stanford, he led the Cardinal to two NCAA Championships (2001 and 2002). He set a freshman scoring record (68 goals), a single-season scoring record (95 goals as a sophomore) and a career scoring record (332 goals). In each of his four years of college, Azevedo was awarded the Peter J. Cutino Award for the most outstanding male player of the year." - USA Water Polo 10/13/15

Making History

The 2015 US Open of Water Polo took place in Pomona, CA from July 17th-19th. The NYAC men's and women's teams made history, both placing two teams in the top four. The NYAC men's A team won the tournament while the B team captured fourth place with a stellar second squad, assuring a bright future for the sport. For six players on the A team, it was less than one week after earning gold medals at the 2015 Pan Am Games for Team USA, securing a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games. Sending two teams to the tournament was a heavy task, but the NYAC men's water polo coaches had high expectations. This year's tournament had 12 teams in the field and took place over three rounds.

The A team came out roaring, blowing out one team and beating Stanford Water Polo Club, 16-13. Both NYAC teams advanced to the second round, even though the NYAC B team went 1-1, losing 7-11 to the second seeded Olympic Club, but winning their second game. Whereas the A team won both second round games handily, the B team faced the third seeded Bruins. Because of the depth of talent on the NYAC B team and late goals from Joe Cosentino and Brian Bacharach, the B team secured its biggest victory thus far in the tournament, winning a back and forth battle 11-10.

Due to the tournament format, the NYAC A team played the NYAC B team in the semi–final game, removing the chance for an all NYAC final. While both teams played to win, the NYAC A team beat its brethren and advanced, sending the NYAC B team into the third place game. In the third place match, the B team had a chance for redemption against the Olympic Club. Tied 9-9 after overtime, the NYAC B team fell to Olympic Club in a shoot out.

For the championship title, the NYAC A team faced off against the Golden Bears (CA). US team members, John Mann and Josh Samuels, got into early foul trouble forcing Coach Scott Schulte to alter his original game plan. His team responded and the NYAC A team was in control the whole game with a balanced attack and strong performances from Griffin White, Danny Cercols and Rich Hyden. The NYAC A team won 15-12. Josh Shillings, Merill Mosses, Jesse Smith and Tony Azevedo were awarded All-Tournament honors, with the latter, who was inducted into NYAC's Hall of Fame this year, receiving the tournament's MVP award. Next year, the NYAC men will have an opportunity to reach another plateau: win a ninth championship in a 10 year period.

Not to be outdone, the NYAC women's teams had their sights on making history as well. The NYAC A team started with a strong first round, easily defeating its opponents. Meanwhile, the B team showed grit and the will to win as it won two games in dramatic fashion, the first by one goal and the second against Cal in an exciting shootout. Since both teams finished first in their opening round brackets, the scene was being set for a final game of NYAC A verses NYAC B.

In the round of eight, the strong focus instilled by Coach Chris Vidale pushed both A and B teams into tremendous efforts as they both destroyed their competition, setting up semi-final rounds of NYAC A team versus Stanford and NYAC B versus SoCal Gold.

The NYAC A team played a back-and-fourth game with Stanford. After four quarters, the game was tied. Two periods of overtime did not solve the deadlock and the teams settled this game with the excitement of the shoot-out. Unfortunately, Stanford's shooters proved a bit sharper after the exhausting six period game and advanced to the final.

Knowing an NYAC final was not to be, the B team wanted to represent the Club in the championship. On the other side was a tough SoCal Gold team that had other plans. In a tight game, SoCal Gold led by one heading into the last quarter. Taking offensive risks in the final quarter, the NYAC B team defensive was left vulnerable and SoCal Gold took advantage, defeating the NYAC 15- 11.

While it wasn't for a fifth straight championship, it was an all-NYAC consolation game for third place. Both teams bounced back knowing they were playing for bragging rights. The B team started off strong, building a three goal lead; but, the A team wasn't going to let them off the hook, slowly diminishing the B team's lead. In the fourth quarter, the A team took the lead for the first time. With less than two minutes left, Tayna Gandy scored the game winner and the NYAC A team triumphed over the B team 14-13. Kelly Eaton, Tanya Gandy and Aria Fisher were awarded All Tournament team honors.

The NYAC women had matched their male counterparts in placing two teams into the top four at the US Open, and history was once again written in the sport of water polo by the NYAC. 

- William Irvine & Richard Russey

NYAC Takes Fisher Cup

The top teams from across the USA came together on the sunny shores of La Jolla, CA at UC-San Diego to compete for the prestigious Fisher Cup, the most coveted annual title next to the US Championships. With the best club teams and two USA national training teams, the competition was the best the country has to offer in 2015 as the USA begins to prep its players for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

The first rounds had the top ranked NYAC facing off against two top teams: USA-A and Long Beach. Kicking off against USA-A, the NYAC had to be focused out of the gate. Playing nearly flawlessly, the NYAC used its experience and crushed the younger USA-A squad, 20-5. In the afternoon game, the NYAC again cruised to an easy victory, defeating Long Beach, 22-6, to earn the team a spot in the semi-final.
In that round game, the NYAC faced Stanford. This team had beaten the NYAC one year earlier in this very tournament, scoring 13 goals. Coach Schulte would not let history repeat itself; he deployed a game plan to stifle Stanford's shooters, holding them to a tournament low six goals while the NYAC tallied 11 to take the victory.

The win set up a championship match between the NYAC and the defending champs, Bruin, a team that also defeated the NYAC in 2014's semi-final game. Unlike the morning's game, Schulte wanted this game to be about his explosive offense which had been producing all weekend. The NYAC followed Schulte's orders and jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, defeating Bruin 14-10 to take the championship.

The weekend was complete as, in capturing  the prestigious Fisher Cup, the NYAC avenged its losses from 2014's disappointing fourth place finish. This is the fourth title that the NYAC has claimed in this demanding tournament. You can catch full highlights from the championship match at YouTube.com/USAWP.

- Richard Russey

April 2015

Ony Azevado Inducted into the NYAC Hall of Fame:

One of the top players in the world and one of the most decorated players from the United States, ever, Tony Azevedo has competed in four Olympics, earning a silver medal in 2008, and will, once again, compete in Brazil 2016 for his fifth Olympics. Azevedo led the US National team to four Pan American Game Gold Medals, seven World Championships and four FINA World Cup tournaments. As a professional water polo player, he led his teams to two Croatian Championships, a Montenegrin Championship, and a Brazilian Championship. In 2006 Azevedo was the Italian League leading scorer with 63 goals. Since 2012, he has been the Captain of the US Men's National Water Polo Team. He is also the only male collegiate water polo player to be awarded the J. Cutino Award, the best NCAA male water polo player award, for all four years of a collegiate career.

Playing for the NYAC water polo team, Azevedo led the team to 7 National Championships as well as many other tournament championships, and was often named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Over the past couple decades, NYAC has dominated the field in water polo and Azevedo has been an integral part of the team's success.

March 2015

This past weekend, the NYAC mens water polo went 3-0 in USWP National League play, bringing the team's record to 5-1 over the last 6 games. The success of the team can be partial attributed to the outstanding goaltending of Merrill Moses, who has the highest save percentage (.613) of the goalies in the league. Although in the early part of the season the team roster was thin due to injuries, the now healthy NYAC team is ranked 3rd heading into championship weekend, 4/11/15-4/12/15. If you want to follow the team during the championships, all matches will be streamed on USA Water Polo TV at YouTube.com/USAWP. Or just click here.

Click the links below to read articles about the Water Polo team's competitions.





Team Schedule

Check back soon.

Practice Schedule

Men's Practice Schedule

  • Tuesday and Thursday
  • 7:30pm - 8:45pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday
  • 7:30pm - 8:45pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday
  • 7pm - 8:45pm
  • Saturday alternating with Women's Team
  • 8am - 10am

Women's Practice Schedule

  • Tuesday and Thursday
  • 8:45pm - 10pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday
  • 8:45pm - 10pm
  • Monday and Wednesday
  • 7pm - 8:45pm
  • Saturday alternating with Men's Team
  • 8am - 10am



  • Ashleigh Johnson
  • Kiley Neushul
  • Kami Craig
  • Maggie Steffens
  • Kaleigh Gilchrist
  • Lauren Wenger
  • Jessica Steffens
  • Kelly Rulon
  • Heather Petri
  • Nicolle Payne
  • Courtney Mathewson
  • Heather Moody
  • Natalie Golda
  • Betsy Armstrong
  • Melissa Seidemann
  • KK Clark
  • Jordan Raney
  • Anna Espar Llaquet
  • Alys Williams
  • Chelsea Johnson
  • Stephania Haralabidis
  • Eike Daube
  • Jamie Neushul
  • Brigitta Games
  • Gabby Stone
  • Stephanie Mutafyan
  • Aubrie Monahan
  • Danijela Jackovich
  • Kodianne Hill
  • Kacy Kunkel
  • Annika Dries
  • Colleen Maire O'Donnell
  • Molly Burke Cahill
  • Coralie Simmons
  • Erika M. Figge
  • Kelly Eaton
  • Lauren Silver
  • Tanya Whitlock
  • Bobbi Mason
  • Erika Leon
  • Rebecca Dorst
  • India Forster
  • Kaitlyn Lo
  • Cassandra Wyckoff
  • Stephanie Schnugg
  • Katherine Hansen


  • Ravil Valishev
  • Ross Sinclair
  • Jamal Motlagh
  • Jeffrey Schwimer
  • Richie Hyden
  • Joseph Cosentino
  • William Klein
  • Derek Lange
  • Brian Bacharach
  • Andrew Hoffenberg
  • William Sause
  • Bence Valics
  • Robert Maitland
  • Wolfgang Wigo
  • John Mann
  • Jeffrey Tyrrell
  • Josh Samuels
  • Bret Bonanni
  • Alex Obert
  • Alex Bowen
  • Lucas Gielen
  • Tony Azevedo
  • Layne Beaubien
  • Rick Merlo
  • Merrill Moses
  • Jesse Smith
  • Adam Wright


NYAC National League Roster

  • Nicolas Carniglia
  • Reed Cotterrill
  • Marko Gencic
  • Lucas Gielen
  • Mikolos Gor Nagy
  • Nir Gross
  • Ivan Gvozdanovic
  • Rade Joksemovic
  • Josh Jordan
  • Alex Obert
  • Nikita Prohkin
  • Chancellor Ramirez
  • Sawyer Rhodes
  • Ryder Roberts
  • Alex Roelse
  • Nicolas Saveljic
  • Logan Schofield
  • Jesse Smith
  • Josh Stiling
  • Chasen Travesano
  • Bence Valics - Goalie
  • Christopher Whitelegge - Goalie
  • Bennett Williams
  • Daniel Young

Program Highlights

Los Angeles, CA - February 3rd, 2015 - USC's Kostas Genidounias (NYAC) was named Player of the Year while UCLA Head Coach Adam Wright (NYAC) was named Coach of the Year in the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches Annual Awards. The awards were in recognition for their accomplishments during the Fall 2014 season. Click here for full details

Both the NYAC Women's and Men's Teams won the 2014 US Open Championships.

Four athletes from the NYAC women's team competed and took first at the 2014 FINA World Cup.

Five athletes from the NYAC men's team competed on the USA National Team and placed fourth at the 2014 FINA World Cup.


Year Women's US Nationals Men's US Nationals Men's Fisher Cup USA Water Polo Men's National League
2018 1st Place 3rd Place 5th Place 2nd Place
2017 1st Place 2nd Place 1st Place 1st Place
2016 3rd Place 3rd Place 1st Place 1st Place
2015 3rd Place 1st Place 1st Place  
2014 1st Place 1st Place 4th Place  
2013 1st Place 1st Place 1st Place  
2012 1st Place 3rd Place 1st Place  
2011 1st Place 1st Place 1st Place  
2010 3rd Place 1st Place 2nd Place  
2009 2nd Place 1st Place 2nd Place  
2008 4th Place 1st Place    
2007 1st Place 1st Place    
2006   2nd Place