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USC Earns First Silver Medal of 2012 Olympics

Rebecca Soni came up just short in the 100m breaststroke, missing out on gold by 0.08 seconds.
Rebecca Soni came up just short in the 100m breaststroke, missing out on gold by 0.08 seconds.

It was yet another busy day in the Olympic pool for former and current Trojans. A day after USC graduate Clement Lafert claimed gold for France to extend USC's remarkable Olympic gold-medal streak to 100 years, 10 women took to the water in swimming and water polo competition.

Rebecca Soni's silver medal in the 100m breaststroke and Anna Espar's hat trick for Spain in water polo group play highlighted the day's action. Plus, Nicole Davis helped the U.S. women's volleyball team avenge a bitter Olympic defeat.

Soni was considered one of the favorites in the 100m breaststroke after finishing with the silver in 2008 and winning at the 2011 World Championships, but it was not to be. She was bested by 0.08 seconds by 15-year-old Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte despite a strong surge over the final 50m.

It was Soni's fourth medal of her career and she is expected to add to that count over the course of the week. She will be competing in the 200m breaststroke and will potentially be a member of the medley relay teams.

Her former USC teammate, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, qualified for the 200m medley finals while current USC junior Stina Gardell, representing Sweden, finished 20th in the preliminaries and did not advance.

In water polo group play, Espar, an incoming freshman, led Spain to an 11-8 win over China with her three goals. But she wasn't the only player with Trojan ties to find the back of the net. Kami Craig scored a pivotal goal for the USA to help the American squad, which also features Trojans Lauren Wenger and Tumua Anae, to a 14-13 win against Hungary.

Craig was able to slip one past current USC goalie Flora Bolonyai, who doubles as goalie for the Hungarian Olympic squad.

USC grad Aniko Pelle scored a goal for Italy, but it wasn't enough as the Italians fell 10-8 to Australia. USC's second leading scorer in women's water polo, Sofia Konoukh, became a four-time Olympian as she helped Russia take a 7-6 victory against Great Britain.

The only USC athlete in action outside of the pool was Nicole Davis, who helped the USA take control of Group B by handling rival Brazil 3-1. In a rematch of the 2008 gold medal contest won by Brazil, the U.S. women dominated the first two sets winning 25-18 (ending on a 7-2 run) and 25-17 on their way to the four-set win. Davis contributed 18 digs from her libero position as Team USA moved to 2-0 in group play.

Trojans will be back in the pool on Tuesday for men's and women's swimming and men's water polo. You will also be able to spot Trojans on the women's soccer field, men's volleyball court and in the sand for women's beach volleyball.