Glendale High boys' water polo in prime position for CIF

Water polo: Squads look to make CIF Southern Section Division V boys' water polo playoffs a local affair.

August 23, 2013|By Andrew Shortall,
  • The Glendale High boys' water polo team returns most of its historically most successful squad in 2013.
The Glendale High boys' water polo team returns… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

A trip to the CIF Southern Section Division V boys’ water polo semifinals nearly came down to two local teams a year ago.

With Glendale High, a 2012 CIF-SS finalist, returning most of its team and three other local teams vastly improved for another season, it could be a similar story — one that’s told more than once — in 2013.

Nearby Flintridge Prep is also aiming to nab a high seed for playoffs by knocking off perennial power and defending Division V champion Pasadena Poly in the Prep League.

Still, coming off its finest season, Glendale could be in position to be even better than last year. The Nitros graduated two key players from their first-ever team to reach a CIF-SS championship game, but return their centerpiece, Arman Momdzhyan, for his senior season.

The Nitros still have the makings of a championship squad with last year’s experience, an ultimately heartbreaking 12-10 loss to Pasadena Poly after being outscored, 6-1, in the fourth quarter of the CIF-SS championship.


“Our goal is to peak at the end of the season,” fifth-year Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook said. “We have a very talented group and we’re hoping that with what we learned last year we can put that to use through CIF.”

Once again, the offense will run through Momdzhyan, an All-American, All-Area, CIF and Pacific League standout from last year with 136 goals. Returning all-league honorees from last year who are looking to shoulder a bigger offensive load, while maintaining their defensive intensity are juniors Manuk Piloyan (utility) and Artak Arzumanyan (center defender) and sophomore set Levon Gevorkyan.

Glendale, which finished last year at 22-6, 8-0 in league, will again have the luxury of two quality goalkeepers in returning juniors Daniel Sarkisian and David Tiraturyan. Both are fighting for the starting job, but Holbrook said that position could change throughout the year as the team will ride the hot hand.

“We have a very basic game, we’re not planning on changing anything,” said Holbrook, who’s adding to the team’s playbook to give it another edge. “We have fantastic goalies that we will highlight all season long. We’ve got a fantastic offense that will guarantee we put goals in, and our focus is always on defense.”

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