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Top girls' teams collide in NorCal polo tourney

 

Some of the top teams in the state will be in the field when the annual NorCal Championships in girls' water polo opens its two-day run Friday at the Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo-Atherton High pools. This is the first time in the eight-year history of the tournament that it's being held on the Peninsula. Previously, it was held at UC Davis.

Monte Vista (Danville), a two-time champion, is the top seed in the tournament that brings together the top 16 teams from the Central Coast Section, North Coast Section, Sac-Joaquin Section, and the Central Section.

Menlo-Atherton is the defending champion and will be looking to become the first team to win back-to-back crowns. The Bears, however, are just 13-7 coming into this event while last season they were 19-1.

Monte Vista comes in unbeaten while Davis has just one loss, to Monte Vista. Sacred Heart Prep, meanwhile, should bring a 19-1 record into this weekend's action. The Gators were expected to wrap up a perfect 6-0 season in the West Catholic Athletic League with a victory over Mitty on Thursday.

Also competing will be Castilleja (14-6), which will open play Friday against Campolindo in the SHP pool at 2:10 p.m. Preceeding that match will be Sacred Heart against Rio Americano at 1:05 p.m. Menlo-Atherton will host Las Lomas at 1:05 p.m.

Semifinals will be on Saturday at SHP at 11:10 a.m. and 12:20 p.m., with the championship match set for 5 p.m.

Menlo-Atherton tuned up with a 13-7 victory over host Aragon on Wednesday, giving the Bears (5-0) their fourth straight PAL Bay Division regular-season title. Senior MJ O'Neill led the way with three goals, two coming in the opening period when M-A grabbed a 3-1 lead.

The Bears ramped up their counterattack at the end of the second quarter with goals from sophomore Lizzie Lipps and freshman Jessica Heilman. M-A put the match away with a 6-1 third-quarter outburst. Shelby Fero scored two goals as did Heilman and Danielle Flanagan.

In Redwood City, Castilleja (4-1) wrapped up second place with a 15-5 dunking of host Sequoia on Wednesday. Senior Sayeh Bozorghadad led the way with four goals with senior Barbara Peterson adding three. Sallie Walecka had seven saves in goal.

2010 NORCAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Friday, Oct. 29

At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 1 -- Davis vs. St. Mary's, 10:55 a.m.

Game 3 -- St. Francis (Mt. View) vs. Miramonte, noon

Game 5 -- Sacred Heart Prep vs. Rio Americano, 1:05 p.m.

Game 7 -- Campolindo vs. Castilleja, 2:10 p.m.

Game 9 -- Loser 1 vs. loser 3, 3:15 p.m.

Game 11 -- Winner 1 vs. winner 3, 4:20 p.m.

Game 13 -- Loser 5 vs. loser 7, 5:25 p.m.

Game 15 -- Winner 5 vs. winner 7, 6:30 p.m.

At Menlo-Atherton High

Game 2 -- Monte Vista (Danville) vs. Buchanan, noon

Game 4 -- Menlo-Atherton vs. Las Lomas, 1:05 p.m.

Game 6 -- St. Francis (Sacto.) vs. Clovis, 2:10 p.m.

Game 8 -- Clovis West vs. St. Ignatius, 3:15 p.m.

Game 10 -- Loser 2 vs. loser 4, 4:20 p.m.

Game 12 -- Winner 2 vs. winner 4, 5:25 p.m.

Game 14 -- Loser 6 vs. loser 8, 6:30 p.m.

Game 16 -- Winner 6 vs. winner 8, 7:35 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 30

At Sacred Heart Prep

Game 17 -- Loser 11 vs. loser 15, 8:50 a.m.

Game 19 -- Loser 12 vs. loser 16, 10 a.m.

Game 21 -- Winner 11 vs. winner 15 (semifinal), 11:10 a.m.

Game 23 -- Winner 12 vs. winner 16 (semifinal), 12:20 p.m.

Game 25 -- Loser 17 vs. loser 19 (7th place), 1:30 p.m.

Game 27 -- Winner 17 vs. winner 19 (5th place), 2:40 p.m.

Game 29 -- Loser 21 vs. loser 23 (3rd place), 3:50 p.m.

Game 31 -- Winner 21 vs. winner 23 (championship), 5 p.m.

At Menlo-Atherton

Game 18 -- Loser 9 vs. loser 13, 8:50 a.m.

Game 20 -- Loser 10 vs. loser 14, 10 a.m.

Game 22 -- Winner 9 vs. winner 13 (semifinal), 11:10 a.m.

Game 24 -- Winner 10 vs. winner 14 (semifinal), 12:20 p.m.

Game 26 -- Loser 18 vs. loser 20 (15th place), 1:30 p.m.

Game 28 -- Winner 18 vs. winner 20 (13th place), 2:40 p.m.

Game 30 -- Loser 22 vs. loser 24 (11th place), 3:50 p.m.

Game 32 -- Winner 22 vs. winner 24 (9th place), 5 p.m.

Past champions

2009 -- Menlo-Atherton

2008 -- Monte Vista

2007 -- Sacred Heart Prep

2006 -- Davis

2005 -- Sacred Heart Prep

2004 -- Monte Vista

2003 -- Davis

-- Embarcadero Media

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