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Girls water polo: Division 4 breakdown, power rankings

February 13th, 2012, 9:26 pm ·

· posted by DAN ALBANO, ocvarsity.com

SEEDED TEAMS

1. Los Osos: The top-seeded Grizzlies (17-5) edged division rival Harvard-Westlake, 14-13, in a key match earlier this season. Last season, Harvard beat Los Osos in the Division 4 final, 10-7.

2. Harvard-Westlake: Ashley Grossman now plays for Stanford but the Wolverines (23-5) are still tough with goalie Kristen Lee, Cal-bound Bella Gonzalez and junior 2-meter Morgan Hallock. Harvard, however, is young. Lee and Gonzalez are the only two seniors on the squad.

3. Dana Hills: Under first-year coach Nick Baba, the Dolphins (17-12) dominated the Sea View League. But Dana Hills faces a difficult road to second consecutive semifinal appearance. The Dolphins open against La Habra -- ranked seventh in the division -- and then potentially could encounter Upland, ranked fourth but seeded sixth. Yikes.

4. Troy: The Warriors sprinted to the Freeway League title and were rewarded with the No. 4 seed. The No. 5 seed ended up being Aliso Niguel, ranked ninth in the division. Troy needs to fire up.

AT-LARGE TEAMS

La Habra (Freeway 4, 15-14); Alta Loma (Baseline) 16-11

DARKHORSE: Sunny Hills. The Lancers are flying under the radar after placing second to Troy in the Freeway League. But if Sunny Hills gets past Nipomo in the first round Thursday, it could face a second-seeded Harvard team it dropped a 9-8 decision to earlier this season. The Lancers could mess up the bracket quickly.

BEST FIRST-ROUND GAME

There are two picks here. La Habra-Dana Hills pits a pair of teams ranked in the division and the Highlanders are well-coached with Jim Crowther. But don't sleep on Buena Park-Cabrillo of Lompoc. Buena Park is the third seed from the tough Freeway League and capable of playing a nasty press defense. Host Cabrillo is the Los Padres League champ but the Conquistadores should be in for a challenge.

CIF LEAGUE POWER RANKINGS

1. Baseline

2. Freeway

3. Sea View

4. Mission

5. Los Padres


 
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