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Falcons set in reload mode

With influx of new players, Crescenta Valley hoping to continue league and playoff success this season.

November 28, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
(Cheryl A. Guerrero…)

Creativity is something that's played a large role in helping the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team build a strong foundation.

Prolific goal scorers, along with mobile defenders and goalkeepers, come and go. Having the ability to constantly bring up future standout players from its fertile feeder programs has helped Crescenta Valley remain atop the Pacific League and allowed it to venture deep into the playoffs.

"We tell our players at all levels that it's not only about this year, but also next year and the years beyond that," said Crescenta Valley Coach Pete Loporchio, whose team won the league championship and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division V semifinals last season. "Our junior varsity team went 24-1 last year and it's 68-3 over the last three years, so you want to prevent lapses that lead to a drop off [at the varsity level]."

Crescenta Valley lost several key players to graduation, including Kim Fraisse, a two-time All-Area Girls' Water Polo Player of the Year. Also gone are driver Christine Cho and hole/guard Adrienne Ingalla, both of whom were selected to the All-Area first team.

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Replacing Fraisse, a utility player who scored 278 goals over the past three seasons and an All-CIF first-team pick, certainly doesn't figure to be easy.

"She will certainly be hard to replace, and that's where we have to be creative," said Loporchio, whose team is ranked fourth in the Division V preseason poll behind defending champion Temescal Canyon, Bonita and Redlands East Valley. "We can't replace her solely.

"We will have to find a way to generate goals. It might take two or maybe even three players to equal what Kim did on her own."

There are a core of players who might be suitable to fit that role. Among those in line are utility players Sabrina Hatzer and Shannon Hovanesian and Breanna Lawton, all of whom secured All-Area accolades last season.

Of course, defending the league title will be one of the main goals for the Falcons, though Loporchio said there are plenty of quality teams ready to try knocking them off their throne.

"Pasadena and Glendale I know will be good," said Loporchio, who was named the All-Area Coach of the Year after leading the Falcons to a 28-win season. "For us, it's going to be about maintaining that level of intensity throughout the entire regular season and right into the playoffs."

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