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Mater Dei captured a sixth CIF-SS boys water polo title in the fall.

The Monarchs' girls might be getting close to their first title.

Mater Dei's girls made major strides in the winter and appear set to be an even bigger factor next season based on a transfer and incoming freshman.

Santa Margarita high-scoring attacker Bella Baia and SOCAL club player Tea Poljak have enrolled at Mater Dei, Monarchs coach Chris Segesman confirmed.

Baia, a 5-foot-3 junior-to-be, racked up 83 goals and 57 assists for Santa Margarita last season. She scored eight goals in a game twice.

Poljak is a utility player on the U.S. national cadet team that includes Mater Dei's Hannah Constandse.

In addition to the sophomore-to-be Constandse, Mater Dei returns first-team All-County selection and junior-to-be Grace Thawley, junior-to-be Nicole Kresich and improving junior-to-be goalie Marley Presiado from a squad that reached the CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinals.

Laguna Beach held off the Monarchs, 9-7, in a Division 1 quarterfinal that was close deep into the fourth period.

Mater Dei's stockpile could make it a contender in Division 1 this coming winter along with defending champion Orange Lutheran, Dos Pueblos of Goleta, Laguna Beach, San Marcos and Corona del Mar among others.

Dos Pueblos didn't graduate any seniors and landed Laguna Beach transfer Sophie Leggett, arguably the top freshman in the county. Orange Lutheran started three freshmen last season along with seniors-to-be Mollie and Myna Simmons.

Laguna Beach is expected to return U.S. national team center Aria Fischer, a potential Olympian who sat out last season as a junior to train with Team USA.

Please send water polo news to Dan Albano at dalbano@ocregister.com or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter


 


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