The water polo FINA 2017 World Championships open today in Budapest, with a pair of Pacific water polo players representing their countries. The Tigers' Kyra Christmas will suit up for Team Canada, Mariana Duarte was named to Brazil's team, while Pacific alum Brydie Pie is a member of New Zealand's squad.
Christmas, who just completed her redshirt freshman season for the Tigers, scored 60 goals while earning First Team All-Golden Coast Conference honors. The native of High River, Alberta (outside of Calgary) will represent Team Canada yet again in international competition. She's participated in nine international tournaments with Canada, including a performance at the 2017 Junior Pan American Games which earned her MVP honors.
Duarte just completed her freshman year with the Tigers, scoring 45 goals, third on the team. She added 17 assists and 28 steals. Duarte, a native of Sao Paulo, competed for Brazil in the 2016 Olympic Games in her home country.
Pie played for Pacific from the 2012 season through 2015, racking up 145 career goals for the Tigers. Her career scoring total ranks seventh on the Tigers all-time list. The native of Lower Hutt, New Zealand, was named to the squad by head coach Angie Winstanley-Smith.
The World Championships run from July 14 to 30 in Budapest, Hungary.
In August, a larger number of players and coaches with ties to Pacific water polo will head to the World University Games.