London, England (Sports Network) - Melissa Seidemann scored on all three of her shots and captain Brenda Villa added two goals to lift the United States past Italy 9-6 in women's water polo.
Kelly Rulon scored twice for the Americans and Betsey Armstrong came up with 13 saves.
"I think the staple of our team is the defense. We count on Betsey so much, she did an awesome job today," said Seidemann.
The U.S., coming off a silver medal in Beijing four years ago, will next face Australia on Tuesday. The Aussies, who went undefeated in group play, moved on by downing China 20-18.
Australia could use the day of rest as its match with China went all the way to a penalty shootout, where the Aussies outscored the Chinese 4-2. Three-time Olympian Mel Rippon put an end to the contest with her goal in the bonus time.
USA head coach Adam Krikorian knows his team will be tested in the semifinals.
"They are the most talented team here," he said of the Australians. "They are big, strong physically, swim fast, shoot well, good goalies, they don't have any weaknesses."
Spain, which clinched Group A over the U.S., moved on to the semifinals with a 9-7 win over Great Britain. Anni Espar Llaquet and Lorena Miranda Dorado both scored twice in the triumph.
The Spaniards next battle Hungary, which beat Russia 11-10.
08/05 17:19:33 ET