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Crescenta Valley girls' water polo puts together another dominating win

Water polo: Falcons cruise into semifinals for third year in a row with 15-8 road victory over Arlington Saturday.

February 16, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

RIVERSIDE — In its CIF Southern Section Division V opener, the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team proved it doesn't need a hot start or offense that's clicking to post a lopsided victory.

Still, those aspects are nice to have and the Falcons had both of them in hand in a 15-8 quarterfinal victory at Arlington High in Riverside Saturday.

Exactly 178 seconds into the game, CV held a 3-0 lead. Shannon Hovanesian had a huge part to play in that, as she had three steals, a goal and an assist by that point.

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“A good lead is a great start to the game and every game we do push to take that lead,” said Hovanesian, who finished with two goals, six steals and four assists.

It was a stark contrast to the Falcons’ 11-2 victory over visiting Downey Wednesday. Top-seeded CV held just a 1-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 4-1 advantage at halftime.

“I think it did [play a part],” Crescenta Valley’s Elissa Arnold said of Saturday’s game. “We were all looking at that quarter going, ‘OK, we need to step it up, make our presence known early so then the other team doesn’t feel they can inch their way back up.’”

The win puts the Falcons in the semifinals for the third year in a row. CV hopes to avenge two years of frustration, a pair of losses to Temescal Canyon in the 2011 and 2012 semifinals and inch closer to its first-ever Division V title when it takes on the winner of Saturday’s Cerritos-Redlands East Valley game at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Whittier College.

“I think we’re all very in the mindset of getting to our goal now,” said Arnold, who finished tied with Katie Benson and Ashley Taylor for the team-high in goals with three.

Hovanesian also certainly feels her team is up to the task to advance to the finals this year.

“The past two years we’ve kind of been the same age, so every year we are the same age and growing together,” she said. “I think that because we are growing together we know each other, understand our way of playing and are able to play as a team.”

Crescenta Valley (31-2) took the lead on its second possession of the game, as Hovanesian assisted on a Taylor tally 1:13 into the game. Hovanesian grabbed a steal on Arlington’s next trip down the pool with the turnover leading to a five-meter goal from Benson 19 seconds after Taylor’s goal.

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