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Falcons net seven All-CIF honors

Water polo: Crescenta Valley High's Isacson and Hatzer among those named to first team after 31-1 season.

March 12, 2012|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

Whether in the cage or in the field, the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team found strength at just about every position, with its balanced talent delivering the Falcons plenty of victories and a trip to the CIF Southern Section Division V semifinals for the second season in a row.

With senior attacker Sabrina Hatzer scoring goals and junior goalkeeper Gabriel Isacson blocking shots, the Falcons went 31-1.

Their work didn't go undetected throughout the season and playoffs, as Hatzer and Isacson were bestowed with All-CIF Division V first-team honors Monday after the CIF Southern Section office unveiled the first teams for all seven divisions.

"It's great to see them be recognized," said Crescenta Valley Coach Pete Loporchio, who guided the Falcons to the Pacific League championship before falling, 9-7, to eventual champion Temescal Canyon in a semifinal match at Mount San Antonio College. "Both of them did a lot of things.

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"With Gabriel, she was recognized as one of the better shot blockers. She's got that mobility, natural ability and an instinct for the ball.

"Sabrina is known for her quick release. When we needed a big goal, she either scored or created a presence that we were fortunate to have."

Hatzer had 106 goals, fourth all-time in program history. She also had 61 steals and 42 assists.

After serving as a reserve goalkeeper each of her first two seasons with the Falcons, Isacson took it upon herself to handle the starting role. Isacson finished with 228 saves to go along with 19 steals and 18 assists.

"It's really unexpected [to get All-CIF]," Isacson said. "We had a great season, though we wished we would have had a better outcome.

"When I found out about All-CIF, I was excited. I took on a new role and I wanted to prove to myself and everybody else that I could do it. I was dedicated and always trying to improve."

In addition, junior attacker Breanna Lawton and senior utility player Shannon Hovanesian earned spots on the second team for the Falcons. Those named to the third team from Crescenta Valley were senior attacker Stefanie Loporchio, sophomore utility Elissa Arnold and junior attacker Katie Benson, according to Coach Loporchio, as CIF only releases the first team.

Lawton finished with a team-high 92 steals. She also collected 39 goals and 30 assists.

Hovanesian registered 71 goals, 51 steals and 31 assists.

Loporchio collected 44 goals, 56 steals and 25 assists. Arnold had 54 goals, 20 assists and 25 steals. Benson finished with 22 goals, 58 steals and 24 assists.

"The team lost only one match the whole season," he said. "We were more than just a one-player team and the coaches in our division recognized that."

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