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Will Falcons girls' water polo fly high again?

Under new coach, CV has plenty of talent returning, while others hoping to move up ranks.

November 24, 2012|By Grant Gordon

With the loss of All-Area Girls' Water Polo Player of the Year Sabrina Hatzer, as well as coach Pete Loporchio, who navigated the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team to consecutive CIF semifinal runs and undefeated Pacific League campaigns, one might surmise the Falcons' fortunes this season are a bit up in the air.

But under new coach Brent Danna with a host of experienced returners, the Falcons are seen as a prohibitive favorite in the Pacific League by their counterparts and are ranked fifth in CIF Southern Section Division V.

"It's not wide open at all," said Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook of the Pacific League, which has been won three consecutive seasons by the Falcons. "They've got an amazing coach.

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"I think Crescenta Valley's gonna be a real powerhouse."

While the Falcons made an amazing run to the semifinals last year that saw them reel off 31 straight wins to start the season, Glendale was the only other local to make the playoffs and lost in the opening round.

The Nitros are hoping to get back to the CIF dance, while Hoover, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and Flintridge Prep are all seemingly still putting their respective programs' foundations in place.

The Falcons are expected to boast the return of standout goaltender Gabriel Isacson, fellow standouts Shannon Hovanesian and Breanna Lawton and experienced juniors Katie Benson and Elissa Arnold.

Glendale, meanwhile, is hoping to contend with the predicted likes of Burroughs and Pasadena for a spot in the top three of the league.

The Nitros lost a bunch of experience from last season's fourth-place squad that went to the postseason, but Holbrook expects big things from seniors Biyouregh Boghozian and Maddie Corpus.

"The girls are looking good," said Holbrook, whose team lost to eventual champion Temescal Canyon, which also eliminated Crescenta Valley, in the first round of the playoffs. "They've put in a lot of work."

With his girls absent of a club option in most cases, Holbrook made the decision to give them full practices in the fall after school, with his boys' team usually practicing after the girls. And now, after coaching the Nitros' boys' team to a CIF Division V final run, the girls are now raring to go, though decisions on starters are still yet to be made for the most part.

Hoover, under coach Kevin Witt, is coming off a one-win season and is still searching for numbers.

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