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CdM reaches top 12

USA Water Polo Junior Olympics

CdM Aquatics 18s bounce back, but Newport falls to Commerce. Sailors grads Carpenter, Wilkey help teams advance.

August 05, 2011|By Matt Szabo, matthew.szabo@latimes.com

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA — After winning two games on the opening day of the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics, both the Newport Water Polo Foundation and CdM Aquatics 18-and-under girls found themselves dropping both their platinum bracket pool-play games Friday.

This was not totally unexpected. Among the losses, CdM fell to top-seeded Santa Barbara Water Polo Club, while Newport was edged by No. 2-seeded Huntington Beach Water Polo Club "Blue."

Both local squads had the afternoon to regroup. Only CdM could do it.

Ninth-seeded CdM defeated Foothill Red, 12-6, on Friday night at Irvine's Woollett Aquatics Center. At about the same time, 10th-seeded Newport was losing to Commerce Black, 9-3, in a surprisingly lopsided game at Santa Margarita High.

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CdM, which has guaranteed itself a top-12 finish at the world's largest water polo tournament, plays No. 7-seeded San Diego Shores "A" at 11 a.m. Saturday at Foothill High. Newport, which can finish no better than 13th, plays Santa Barbara "B" at noon back at Santa Margarita.

CdM also is still in contention to make Sunday morning's platinum division semifinals if it can win three straight games Saturday.

Newport Coach Bill Barnett said he was happy with the way his team played Friday morning, though both games were losses. Newport lost to San Diego Shores "A," 9-4, in its first game Friday before nearly upsetting second-seeded HBWPC, featuring former teammate and recent graduate Sarah Wilkey (UCLA). Newport's Elissia Schilling said NWPF had a six-on-five chance to tie in the fourth quarter but couldn't convert, then HBWPC put away a penalty shot on the other end. HBWPC won the game, 9-7, with Wilkey in goal.

Barnett didn't have quite the same emotions against Commerce, when he said his team came out "flat as a pancake." Barnett said Newport had beaten Commerce twice in the last week, once at the LMU Tournament and also in a Monday night game at CdM.

"They're a team with pride," Barnett said. "They don't want to lose three in a row. They've got a good program."

Instead Newport was the team that lost three in a row Friday. NWPF never led against Commerce and was held scoreless for a nearly 15-minute stretch in the middle of the game. By the time Allyson Hall scored late in the third quarter, Commerce was up, 5-1.

Hall had two goals for Newport and Carly Christian added a goal. But frustration mounted. Christian, one of the team's leading scorers, was issued a game ejection early in the fourth quarter.

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