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Glendale water polo sets out to make history

Glendale Nitros meet Pasadena Poly in CIF Southern Section Division V title match in Irvine.

November 16, 2012|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Glendale's offense will be paced by Arman Momdzhyan.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Glendale's offense will be paced… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

After 27 matches played over the course of the last two-plus months, the members of the Glendale High boys’ water polo team have arrived on the doorstep of accomplishing a majestic feat for the first time in the program’s history — a CIF Southern Section championship.

For the Nitros, it will likely be their most stern test. It’s exactly how they want it to be after handling all previous regular season and playoff challenges while spending the bulk of the season as the top-ranked team in the division en route to playing in the program’s first CIF championship match.

Top-seeded Glendale (22-5) will meet third-seeded Pasadena Poly (25-2) in the Division V title match at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine. The match will mark the first time a Glendale High sports team — boys or girls — has played in a CIF championship since 1989. If the Nitros prevail, it will be the school’s first CIF team championship since that same year, when the boys’ volleyball team won a Division III-A title against Harvard-Westlake in 1989.

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“It’s still sinking in that we are going to the final and there’s been a buzz around school hearing announcements over the microphone about us playing for the championship,” Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook said. “It’s great to be playing our fourth extra game in the postseason, and it’s taken a lot of hard work to get here.

“We want to win another championship for the school. We are going to face a great team in Pasadena Poly and we are going to have to be ready.”

The Nitros, who won the Pacific League championship for the second season in a row, have posted playoff wins against JW North, Los Altos and Riverside Poly. Glendale earned a 14-7 semifinal win against Riverside Poly on Wednesday at Mount San Antonio College shortly after the Panthers registered an 11-9 semifinal victory against second-seeded La Serna.

Pasadena Poly, which won the Prep League crown before picking up postseason wins against Pasadena and Walnut, will make its third consecutive appearance in a championship match. The Panthers fell to La Serna in 2010 and Bonita last season, both under coach Ryan Katsuyama.

Holbrook, who took over the program in 2009, said the Panthers figure to be a worthy opponent.

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