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Nitros open CIF quest against Webb

November 06, 2011|By Grant Gordon

Riding a wave of momentum and seemingly brimming with confidence and optimism, the Glendale High boys’ water polo team – along with three other local squads – found out the path that lies in front of it on its quest to win a CIF Southern Section Division V championship, as playoff pairings were unveiled Sunday morning.

“Our team’s goal is obviously to win the championship,” Holbrook said. “Our guys don’t get excited about getting to the quarters or the semifinals, our goal is to win CIF. We’re excited to play the best teams in our division. To win a title you have to beat the best. We welcome the challenge.”

The Nitros, who wrapped up their first Pacific League title since 2002 on Thursday and have won nine straight games, will open up the playoffs in the first round on Wednesday when they host Webb, the Prep League’s No. 3 team. Hoover, the Pacific League’s second-place squad, will take to the road to face Walnut on Wednesday, while both Crescenta Valley and Flintridge Prep will open up Tuesday in Division V  wild-card matches. The Falcons, after a third-place finish in the Pacific, will host Cathedral City, while the Rebels, an at-large entry out of the Prep League, will host California.

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“We’re very optimistic about our draw,” Holbrook said. “We’re happy about it.”

The 21-7 Nitros, who will host their game 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Burroughs High, will welcome a Webb squad that took third in the Prep League and is two seasons removed from a CIF championship, which it won after defeating Glendale in the semifinals.

 “They’ve been rebuilding since then,” Holbrook said. “We feel pretty good about it.”

However, the Gauls (18-10) are familiar with upsets as they recently defeated Pasadena Poly, 14-13, handing Poly, the Prep League champion and No. 3 seed in the tournament, its only league loss.

Glendale, which has been led as of late by Armand Momdzhyan, Manuk Piloyan and Martin Chatalyan, among others, owns a win over top-seeded Bonita in its nine-game winning streak. And, should the Nitros move on they would face either fourth-seeded La Serna or a wild-card team – either Flintridge Prep or California.

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