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Water polo: USA women open title defense with blowout of Spain

water polo

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: Rachel Fattal of United States passes during the Preliminary Round, Group B Womens Waterpolo match between Spain and the USA on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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The Unites States’ women’s water polo team began its gold defense in fine fashion, thrashing Spain 11-4 on Tuesday in Rio.

Maggie Steffens, Courtney Mathewson and Kiley Neushul each scored twice, while goalkeeper Ashleigh Johnson recorded four steals and KK Clark added three in the win.

MORE: Full match replay

Maica Garcia Godoy led Spain with a pair of goals.

Next up for the U.S. is a Thursday date with China, who fell to Hungary 13-11 at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center. The Yanks finish group play on Saturday against Hungary.

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