COSTA MESA — "Not in our house" is a term the Costa Mesa High boys' water polo team has used this season.
Now that they actually have a house, members of the Mustangs have done a masterful job protecting it.
They have not lost at home this season. They weren't about to start in the Battle for the Bell rivalry match.
Costa Mesa jumped ahead early and beat rival Estancia, 9-6, in an Orange Coast League match Wednesday at Costa Mesa High, clinching the third and final league spot into the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs.
It's the Mustangs' first playoff appearance since 2008. Beating a rival to get there was just icing on the cake for Mesa (19-6, 3-2 in league), which eliminated Estancia (9-14, 2-3) from playoff contention.
"I mean, I could say a lot of stuff," said grinning senior Mesa goalie Mitchell Grandia, who had 11 saves and a pair of steals. "It feels great. It's been my goal since freshman year to go to CIF, and to finally beat them? I hadn't had a game in league where we'd beat them yet."