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Girls water polo season preview for 2012-13
There's no overlooking Pacifica girls water polo any more.
The Mariners have quietly been one of Orange County's most consistent programs the past few seasons, but they found the spotlight in 2011-12 with their first run to the CIF-Southern Section semifinals.
Pacifica could back up last season's success with an equally impressive campaign this winter.
The Mariners return starting senior goalie Melissa Thorn, sophomore utility Caroline Thorn and senior center Kassie Winn. They also have added Los Alamitos transfer Sarah Camburn, a junior attacker, and have experienced returners in Sadie Bryan and Tori Hyhman.
Pacifica will again contend with rapidly improving Yorba Linda in the Division 6 Empire League. The Mariners are seeking a fifth consecutive league crown.
But neither team will have to deal with two-time Division 6 champion Warren of Downey, which has moved to Division 5.
Warren beat Pacific, 16-6, in the Division 6 semifinals last season.
Pacifica and Yorba Linda are ranked third and fifth, respectively, in the preseason Division 6 coaches poll. Newcomer Santa Ana Valley, winner of the past two Division 7 titles, is fourth. Pasadena Poly and El Segundo, have the top-two spots.
"I see it coming down to the Prep, Ocean and Empire (leagues)," said Pacifica ninth-year coach Eric Anderson of the division. "I'm hoping we go pretty far in CIF this year."
Pacifica has attracted club players but also stresses team chemistry, Anderson said. The Mariners have regular activities such as a scavenger hunt, camping trip, holiday dinner and an "ugly sweater day."
Corona del Mar's Greek transfers, twins Stephania and Ioanna Haralabidis, have not been declared eligible by the CIF-SS because paper work from their previous school is needed but they will at least be eligible after Dec. 31, the section explained Monday. Dec. 31 is the end of the sit-out-period for students who don't make a valid change of residence, the section said.
Mater Dei rising junior Brianna Daboub, who led the county in scoring last season with 141 goals, is out with a shoulder injury, Monarchs coach Chris Segesman confirmed. "There is not a timetable set for her return," Segesman said in an e-mail.
Mater Dei is led by U.S. youth team member and UCLA commit Mackenzie Barr, who finished second to Daboub last season in goals with 136.
Former UC Irvine All-American Caitlin Haskell is the new coach at Canyon. Shane Unger is the new boys and girls coach at Tustin.