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Boys' Water Polo: Mater Dei too strong for Sailors

Host Monarchs jump out to five-goal lead in regular-season finale, win 75th straight match as playoffs loom.

November 04, 2012|By Matt Szabo

SANTA ANA — Much of the talk in high school boys' water polo over the past week has been about the CIF Southern Section Division 1 seedings.

Coaches have made cases for being No. 2 or No. 3. A big reason that's important is that nobody wants to face No. 1 Mater Dei until they absolutely have to.

The Monarchs again showed why they are the team to beat in Division 1 in their home pool on Saturday night. They came out very strong and cruised by Newport Harbor, 15-4, in the regular-season finale for both schools.

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The Division 1 brackets will be released at 9 a.m. Sunday. Both Mater Dei Coach Chris Segesman and Newport Harbor Coach Robert Lynn said Saturday night that they expect Newport and CdM to occupy the No. 4 and 5 spots, in some order, in Division 1.

That would mean the Back Bay teams could potentially meet in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately for the Sailors and Sea Kings, that would also mean the winner would most likely face Mater Dei in the semifinals at Irvine's Woollett Aquatics Center.

Mater Dei (27-0) is obviously going to be very tough to beat. The Monarchs, the two-time defending Division 1 champions who have won a Southern Section-record 75 straight matches, were dominant on their senior night. They opened up a 5-0 lead after the first quarter. Junior Kent Inoue scored all five of the goals, one of them coming on a penalty shot.

It was not the start Lynn wanted to see from the Sunset League champion Sailors (20-6). The first time they played Mater Dei, in the finals of the South Coast Tournament, the Sailors were locked in a 4-4 tie deep in the fourth quarter before Mater Dei rallied for a 7-4 victory.

"We got our [behinds] kicked," Lynn said. "[Mater Dei] came out on us fast. We told them it's going to happen if they don't watch themselves. We're disappointed [as coaches], and I'm sure they're disappointed. The game was over before some of the kids woke up. That's how disciplined they are. We've talked about mental discipline the whole year here, and just doing the right thing, being in the right place and the right fundamentals with your legs. Unless you're willing to change it ... the coach can only sit there and talk how long, until the kids are willing to change it. There were a couple of kids that I watched that did not take three strokes hard the whole game, and I'm wondering what's in their brain."

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