CdM ready to challenge for title at Santa Barbara TOC


High school water polo.

The Orange County's girls water polo season should get even more competitive this weekend.

Preseason No. 1 Corona del Mar is expected to play its two standout transfers from Greece, Stephania and Ioanna Haralabidis, in the talent-loaded, 16-team Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions, which runs Friday and Saturday at Santa Barbara High and Dos Pueblos of Goleta.

The twins, who are bound for USC and helped Greece capture the FINA world youth title in December, became eligible to play for the No. 3 Sea Kings on Jan. 1.

The tournament features nine teams in the Orange County Top 10, led by top-ranked Foothill. The Knights, who won the first major tournament of the season, the Holiday Cup in late December, are ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 1.

Santa Barbara, the tournament host, is the highest seeded non-county team at No. 5.

No. 4 Mater Dei, ranked No. 1 in Division 2, is the third seed in Foothill's group. The Monarchs open the tournament against Laguna Beach today at Santa Barbara at 2:30 p.m.

The featured match Friday could happen in the quarterfinals between rivals Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor if those teams win their opening matches today.

Corona del Mar defeated Newport Harbor in last season's TOC final, 10-8.

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