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Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo still No. 1

Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team dominated way to first-ever CIF championship, distinction as top team.

August 17, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: The Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team was voted the No. 1 team of the 2012-13 season after dominating its way to its first-ever CIF championship.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: The Crescenta Valley High girls'… (Scott Smeltzer/Staff…)

The top 10 high school teams from the 2012-13 season were selected by the Glendale News-Press sports department.

1 Crescenta Valley girls’ water polo — Under first-year coach Brent Danna, things quickly came together for the Falcons in what proved to be a historic season that culminated in the program winning its first CIF championship.

After two previous appearances in the CIF Southern Section Division V semifinals, the Falcons shrugged off the tough defeats and came back into the mix prepared to win the elusive CIF crown.

They remained at or near the top of the weekly division polls throughout the season and won another Pacific League championship. Goalkeeper Gabriel Isacson and utility player Shannon Hovanesian took home the highest honors on what was far from a two-girl show for the extremely balanced Falcons team.

Isacson (228 saves, 19 steals and 18 assists) was named All-Area Girls’ Water Polo Player of the Year along with earning All-CIF Division V Player of the Year. Hovanesian (81 goals, 106 steals and 90 assists) was selected as the league’s player of the year. She earned a spot on the All-Area team, along with Elissa Arnold, Katie Benson, Ashley Taylor and Breana Lawton.

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A dangerous defensive and spread-out offensive Crescenta Valley squad reached its zenith Feb. 23. The Falcons erased several years of heartbreak with a convincing 10-5 victory against Riverside Poly at the William J. Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine.

“You look back at the whole journey, and it took a lot of hard work before and during the season to make things happen,” said Danna, whose team finished 32-2 overall, 8-0 in league. “Everything lined up, but the players were the ones who put in the hard work to make it all happen. I’m just happy that we had the best result.

“We had a lot of players who were hungry to win CIF. They all did what they had to do to make it a successful run through the playoffs.”

2 Crescenta Valley boys’ swimming — Crescenta Valley marched to its 21st consecutive Pacific League championship and had aspirations to repeat as CIF Southern Section Division II champion under the direction of coach Jan Sakonju. Blessed with an array of talented athletes, Crescenta Valley’s bid for another CIF title was derailed by favored Los Osos.

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