Bay Area-Packed Water Polo Makes History - NBC Bay Area
London 2012

London 2012

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Bay Area-Packed Water Polo Makes History

The 13-member team has seven players with Bay Area ties



    NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai catches up with the Danville-raised Maggie Steffens, the day after her water polo team won gold at the Olympics. (Published Friday, Aug. 10, 2012)

    The U.S. Water Polo team won a gold medal on Thursday and every point was scored by a player who has ties to the Bay Area.

    The end result was 8-5 against Spain.

    Danville-raised Maggie Steffens scored five goals and had one assist.

    Heather Petri, who grew up in Orinda; Melissa Seidemann, who lives in Walnut Creek and attended Stanford; and Brenda Villa , who attended Stanford, each scored one goal apiece.

    Danville Sisters Join US Water Polo Team

    [BAY] Danville Sisters Join US Water Polo Team
    Maggie and Jessica Steffens, Danville sisters, are headed to London for the 2012 Olympics to play on the US Water Polo team.
    (Published Wednesday, July 18, 2012)

    Jessica Steffens, Maggie's older sister, Villa and Else Windes, who attended Cal, also had assists during the game.

    The other player with Bay Area ties is Annika Dries, who attended Stanford.

    This was the United States' first gold medal in women's water polo history; in past Olympics the team took bronze in 2004 and silver in 2000 and 2008.

    This has just been a stellar Olympics for Maggie Steffens, who graduated from Monte Vista High School and who will attend Stanford University, where Jessica also attended.

    Not surprisingly, water polo runs in the family.

    Aside from her older sister, Jessica, her father, Carlos, played water polo at Cal, winning a NCAA title in 1977. Uncle Peter Schnugg was a two-time All-American at Cal and was poised to go to the Olympics until the U.S. decided to boycott the 1980 Moscow Games. Brother Charlie graduated from Cal last year as a team captain and now plays professionally in Australia. Cousin Stephanie Schnugg played at Cal, and mother Peggy, has played the sport, too.

    The entire Steffens family attended the Beijing Games in 2008, when Jessica was part of the U.S. team that lost to the Netherlands. Carlos Steffens sat with Maggie, who was 15 at the time, and turned to her: "Now it's your turn to get the gold."

    In men's water polo, the team wasn't as lucky. Team USA lost to Croatia, in an 8-2 quarterfinal loss on Wednesday. This team was also packed with Bay Area  talent, including its captain, Tony Azevedo, who is a Stanford graduate, Peter Varellas of Moraga, who also graduated from Stanford, and Cal graduate, John Mann.