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Arman Momdzhyan leads Glendale water polo to history

Nitros force culminated phenomenal career with season for the books.

December 31, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • Glendale High's Arman Momdzhyan, the CIF Southern Section Division V Player of the Year, was also selected as the All-Area Boys' Water Polo Player of the Year. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Glendale High's Arman Momdzhyan, the CIF Southern…

Less than three minutes away from helping the Glendale High boys’ water polo team win the program’s first CIF Southern Section championship, Arman Momdzhyan heard an unpleasant sound and looked over his right shoulder in dismay.

It was the reverberation of the referee’s whistle and signaled the senior utility player had picked up his third exclusion of the tight contest with 2:22 remaining in the fourth quarter. Momdzhyan arrived at the Glendale bench and sat nervously while the Nitros were left to compete without their leading scorer while protecting a two-goal lead against Los Altos in the CIF Southern Section Division V title match at William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine on Nov. 23.

“It was without a doubt the most stressful few minutes of my life,” said Momdzhyan, who finished with a team-high six goals for top-seeded Glendale in a 13-11 win against second-seeded Los Altos. “The whole season was on the line and I just hoped my teammates would pull through and get me off the hook.

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“When the final horn sounded, I just breathed a sigh of relief. One of the goals all year was to win CIF and it took a lot of hard work. I went from being stressed to seeing things sink in in a few minutes.”

Momdzhyan got plenty of things accomplished for Glendale during its historic season, including a captivating 20-goal postseason.

In addition to the CIF championship, the first for the school in any sport since 1989, Momdzhyan helped the Nitros go 22-6, 8-0 in the Pacific League. He scored an area-leading 169 goals and was named the Pacific League’s Most Valuable Player and the All-CIF Southern Section Division V Player of the Year.

It is because of those accomplishments that Momdzhyan has been unanimously chosen the 2013 All-Area Boys’ Water Polo Player of the Year by the sports writers and editors of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun.

The Nitros finished as bridesmaids in the Division V title match in 2012, suffering a 12-10 defeat against Pasadena Poly.

Under Glendale fifth-year Coach Forest Holbrook and a talented cast that included Momdzhyan, hole/guard Manuk Piloyan and junior utility Artak Arzumanyan, the Nitros spent the whole season as the top-ranked team in the division and chased after the elusive CIF championship.

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