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Junior Olympics have area flavor

Water polo: Squads from Falcon Water Polo, ORWP qualify for summer event.

July 07, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk,

GLENDALE — A distinct local flavor will accompany the 2010 USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics, and not just because the tournament will be played out at various aquatics facilities around the greater Los Angeles area.

Two girls' teams from the Falcon Water Polo Club, which is headed by Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo Coach Pete Loporchio, and four teams from the Glendale-based Olimpiakan Reservner Water Polo recently qualified for the games, which will run from July 30-Aug. 3 for the boys and Aug. 4-8 for the girls.

Falcon Water Polo's 14-and-under squad went 3-2 and finished fourth in the Coastal Zone qualifying tournament in Claremont on June 21, while the 18-and-under team went 3-3 and made the top-eight cutoff with a sixth-place finish at UC Santa Barbara on June 27.


"To finish sixth out of 13 teams in really the first year we've made an attempt to qualify is pretty impressive," said Loporchio. "There are no weak teams when you get to that elite level in terms of club [water polo]."

The tournaments will open with a preliminary round before the field is divided into Gold and Platinum divisions based on first-day performance.

USC and the Rose Bowl will likely be two of the main venues for the tournaments, which are hosted by the Coastal Zone, but Crescenta Valley High, Flintridge Prep, La Cañada, Burroughs and Burbank are also among the 21 pools listed as game sites on the Junior Olympics website.

"That will be a plus and I think that's one of the draws for us to get so many kids involved, especially in the economy, we're not having to travel," Loporchio said. "They will be close enough where we will be able to commute and not have to worry about transporting 30-40 girls somewhere else across the country."

The Falcon 18U team is coached by Loporchio and features 11 players from the CV team that captured the Pacific League title and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division IV quarterfinals: Dakota Davy Bertram, Shelby Gregg, Karina Alvarez, Daniella Khatchetourian, Claire Nolan, Adrienne Ingalla, Kim Fraisse, Rachel Krebsbach, Kristina Molder and Julia Warden.

The roster also includes La Cañada High's Rita Neat and Lena Hathaway, Tyler Brown, Devin Grab and Patty Salgado.

"It's been a great experience because it elevates the level of everyone as they play with better quality players," Loporchio said.

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