GLENDALE — Opening its season in the Thousand Oaks Tournament over the weekend, the Crescenta Valley High boys' water polo team got a brief schooling from Ventura and Rio Mesa early Saturday.
But the key for the Falcons was taking the lesson to heart and using the experience to get better.
Crescenta Valley, which is the top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division V, came back to defeat El Modena, 12-5, in its last match on Saturday to secure a fifth-place finish in the tournament, which also saw Hoover notch its first win of the season in its final match on Saturday.
"I was extremely happy we got to play Ventura; they're just a fundamentally sound team," said Falcons Coach Jan Sakonju, whose team lost to the seventh-ranked team in Division I, 10-5, before falling to Division VI top-ranked Rio Mesa, 7-4, in a rematch of the Division VI semifinals. "They took advantage of our weaknesses, and the same with Rio Mesa."