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Glendale High girls' water polo's playoff road stopped again against Redlands East Valley

Water polo: For second season in a row, Nitros topped by REV, 15-6, in first round.

February 19, 2014|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

REDLANDS — Recent trips to the Inland Empire to compete in CIF Southern Section playoff matches haven't worked out well for the Glendale High girls' water polo team; specifically head-to-head matchups with Redlands East Valley.

For the second straight postseason, Glendale found itself up against Redlands East Valley in a Division V first-round contest. Unfortunately for the Nitros, their playoff journey was cut short once again by the Wildcats.

Glendale saw its season wrap up Wednesday with a 15-6 road defeat against Redlands East Valley.

“Redlands East Valley finished fifth in the final division regular season poll, so they have a tremendous team,” said Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook, whose team finished 15-8 and placed second in the Pacific League. “They are tough to play against.”

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Redlands East Valley topped Glendale, 18-3, in the postseason before advancing to the semifinals a year ago. The Wildcats will next compete in a quarterfinal match Saturday.

After making the 90-minute trip east, Glendale fell behind, 4-0, after the first quarter and 9-0 at halftime.

The Wildcats (21-9), who have won five Citrus Belt League championships in a row, used their experience to stymie the Nitros and limit them to mostly perimeter shots.

“Since they have a strong team, they were able to get off to that quick start,” said Holbrook, who received a pair of goals from Melani Aghazarian. “Our plan coming in was to limit their top scorers, but they were successful in leading their offense.”

Redlands East Valley's sister combination of Allie and Maddy Wieseler combined for 11 goals. Allie finished with six goals, including a hat trick in the first quarter.

Redlands East Valley Coach Ryan Williams said the Wildcats looked to the sisters to pave the way against Glendale.

“They work so well together and they are only juniors,” Williams said. “They are a big part of our offense.

“We are into past history and we knew a lot about Glendale from having played them last year and we've watched tape of most of their games from this season. We wanted to make sure we were able to get off to a fast start because anything can happen if you don't. We wanted to break their spirit as quickly as possible.”

The Wildcats accomplished that feat, scoring four goals in the first quarter in less than five minutes.

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