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CIF girls' water polo preview

February 24, 2012

CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship match

No. 1 Corona del Mar (28-2) vs. No. 2 Newport Harbor (26-4)

When/where: Saturday, 7:45 p.m. at Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine

Key Sea Kings: Sr. utility Pippa Saunders (55 goals, 28 assists, team-high 45 steals); Sr. goalie Alex Musselman (280 saves); Sr. center Diana Murphy (co-team high 79 goals, 41 steals); Jr. attacker Cassidy Papa (co-team high 79 goals, 41 assists, 42 steals); Jr. attacker Ally McCormick (61 goals, team-high 64 assists); Sr. defender Victoria Pierotti (nine goals, 16 assists, 15 steals).

Key Sailors: Sr. defender Maddy McLaren (team-high 70 goals, 21 assists, 29 steals); Jr. attacker Carly Christian (56 goals, team-high 31 assists, 43 steals); Jr. center Elissia Schilling (45 goals, 31 steals); Jr. defender Avery Peterson (45 goals, team-high 54 steals); Sr. attacker Presley Pender (41 goals, 29 steals); Jr. goalie Cleo Harrington (298 saves).

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Breakdown: The fifth Battle of the Bay meeting of the season is for the CIF title ... Corona del Mar has won three of the previous four meetings, although Newport Harbor won the most recent encounter, 6-5, in the championship match of the Irvine Southern California Championships on Feb. 4 ... Newport Harbor has led each of the previous four meetings at halftime ... Corona del Mar is attempting to win its sixth CIF title, but first in Division 1 ... Newport Harbor has won four previous titles, all in Division 1 ... The most recent Sailors title came in 2008, when Newport overcame a three-goal deficit late to beat CdM, 6-5, in overtime ... The only other Division 1 title match to go to overtime was in 2001, when Foothill beat Santa Margarita ... CdM's Saunders (2009) and Newport's McLaren (2010) are the only players in Saturday's game with previous CIF championship game experience. Dos Pueblos won both games ... Both CdM and Newport Harbor have shown they can have players produce off the bench. CdM sophomore Avery Warwick scored the game-winner in a semifinal win over Foothill, while Newport junior Allyson Hall scored a team-high two goals in the Sailors' semifinal win over Laguna Beach ... Newport Harbor has won 15 straight matches headed into the final ... This is the second time the Back Bay teams have met with the CIF title on the line ... The final will be streamed live on foxsportswest.com.

— Matt Szabo

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