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PHOTO, TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM/SCNG
Goalie Erin Tharp, left, and utility Chloe Harbilas helped power Corona del Mar past Newport Harbor, 9-4, in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs on Wednesday night. Tharp made nine saves and Harbilas scored five goals.

Roundup: Corona del Mar beats rival Newport Harbor in playoffs

STAFF WRITER

Chloe Harbilas and Corona del Mar’s girls water polo team cut the playoff edition of the “Battle of the Bay” short and in their favor Wednesday night.

The host Sea Kings answered an early strike by Back Bay rival Newport Harbor with six consecutive goals to cruise to a 9-4 victory in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs.

Corona del Mar (20-8) plays at third-seeded San Marcos in the quarterfinals Saturday.

The Sea Kings handled Newport Harbor (13-12) despite playing without George Washington-bound senior Jaleh Moaddeli, whom Corona del Mar coach Kevin Ricks said is no longer on the team.

“I would have hoped it would have been closer,” Newport Harbor coach Brian Melstrom said. “They were better than us.”

Harbilas scored Corona del Mar’s first four goals and finished with five. The junior utility added four field blocks.

“She does it all for them,” said Melstrom, whose squad fell to Corona del Mar, 9-5, in late December. “She defends. She guards. She sets (center). She creates.”

Two of Harbilas’ field blocks came against Newport Harbor’s power play, which failed to convert on its first five chances and finished 2 for 7. The Sea Kings went 2 for 3.

Erin Tharp anchored Corona del Mar’s defense by making five of her nine saves in the second period. The junior also made a key steal on a counterattack chance by Jessica Lynch (two goals) at the end of the first half to preserve a 3-1 lead.

Corona del Mar responded to an early perimeter strike by Kaela Whelan by holding the Sailors scoreless for just over 20 minutes, a drought that stretched into the fourth period."

"(We) played really hard," Ricks said. "Defensively, we had a couple field blocks. I felt Erin was real solid in the goal. ... We did a good job of trying to keep the ball out of Jessica's hands as much as possible. She's just a dynamic player."

Corona del Mar sophomore Layne Anzaldo came off the bench to score twice from center in the fourth. Sophie Wallace added a goal and two assists for the Sea Kings. Corona del Mar's Sarah Lawson also had two assists.

"A lot of people stepped up," Harbilas said. "We executed everything we talked about."

Ricks declined to comment on why Moaddeli isn’t playing. He added that she also didn't play last week in a league match.

Newport Harbor lost in the first round for the second consecutive season.

Also in Division 1:

Los Alamitos 8, Santa Margarita 6 (OT): Katie Dvonch and Calysa Toledo scored in overtime at Ocean View to lead the Griffins (21-8), who play Laguna Beach next. Delaney Mazelin scored twice for the Eagles.

No. 1 Laguna Beach 19, El Toro 4: Aria Fischer had four goals, three assists and two steals for the host and top-seeded Breakers (28-0). Fischer teamed with Isabel Riches to help shut down El Toro center Haley HagertyClaire Sonne added three goals for Laguna Beach.

No. 3 Orange Lutheran 9, Murrieta Valley 7: Myna Simmons scored four goals for the visiting Lancers (22-6), who never trailed in advancing to play Dos Pueblos in the quarterfinals.

No. 6 Foothill 10, Santa Barbara 5: Molly DiLalla made 15 saves for the host Knights (18-10), who play Mater Dei next.

No. 2 Mater Dei 11, Los Osos 8: The host and No. 2 seeded Monarchs scored six goals in the third to snap a 4-4 tie at halftime and reach the quarterfinals. Grace Thawley and Tea Poljak each scored three goals for the Monarchs.

In Division 3:

Villa Park 13, Ocean View 5: Lindsy Peterson and Bri Portales scored four goals apiece for the visiting Spartans (21-9), who led, 7-2, at halftime.

In Division 5:

Santa Ana Valley 5, Flintridge Sacred Heart 3 (OT): Samantha Martinez made 13 saves and Monica Garcia scored twice as the host Falcons (23-7) rallied from a 3-1 deficit at halftime.

Fullerton 9, J.W. North 5: Hannah Officer made 14 saves and Kaya Ortega scored four goals to lead the Indians (16-6) at Sunny Hills. Fullerton plays top-seeded Pasadena Poly in the quarterfinals.

Tesoro 9, Beaumont 2: Madison Berry scored four goals for the visiting No. 2 seed Titans, who play host to Alemany on Saturday.

Contact the writer: dalbano@scng.com


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