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Bishop’s advances in CIF girls water polo playoffs; La Jolla High falls in quarterfinals

Lucille Proul (right) led Bishop's with six steals in the Knights' CIF San Diego Section quarterfinal victory over Valhalla.
Lucille Proul (right) led The Bishop’s School with six steals in the Knights’ CIF San Diego Section quarterfinal victory over Valhalla.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Though two La Jolla teams played in the quarterfinals of the CIF San Diego Section girls water polo playoffs Feb. 10, only one will move on to the next round.

The Bishop’s School Knights — who are seeking their fourth straight Open Division championship — crushed the Valhalla Norsemen, 23-2, while the La Jolla High School Vikings narrowly lost to the Carlsbad Lancers, 6-5. Both games were played at the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex on the La Jolla High campus.

The semifinals are scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 15, and the championship round is Saturday, Feb. 19, both at the Coggan pool.

The Bishop’s School

Going into the match against Valhalla, the Knights were told to “do their job in their area, and if they can help someone in their area, do that,” said coach Doug Peabody. The win was a “true team effort,” he said.

All 18 players on the roster got a turn in the pool, and 11 of them scored at least one goal.

Bishop's School Knight Deming Wyer (left) scored one goal and had four assists and five steals against Valhalla.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

“Depth and strength across the board is a big deal for us,” Peabody said. “We hope this will carry us through [the playoffs]. We assisted on 22 of 23 goals. So it wasn’t like one girl scored all by themselves. ... We are unselfish and share the ball. It gives a lot of understanding of the flow of offense. And our defense was stifling.”

Alex Bonaguidi scored five goals on five shots. Maggie Johnson had three goals, three assists and a steal. Deming Wyer scored one goal and had four assists and five steals. Lucille Proul led the team in steals with six, and Lisbon Zeigler had four assists and one goal.

Sofia Holman (4) of Bishop's lines up a pass to a fellow Knight.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The Knights’ second line accounted for nine of the 23 goals scored.

“Everyone is rooting for each other all the time,” Peabody said. “Everyone is fired up and wants to play and do what’s best for the team.”

La Jolla High School

Despite the Vikings’ senior leaders going “full strength” in the matchup against the Lancers, a change in dynamics ultimately led to the team’s downfall, said La Jolla coach Amy Jennings.

La Jolla High School goalie Roxy Hazuka guards the net against Carlsbad.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

“I lean on our strength as being our senior leadership ... with five of the seven seniors starting for us [in the quarterfinals],” Jennings said. “It was a great start; we were up ... 5-2 going into the third quarter. We were looking good for a while, but there were a couple of momentum shifts. Carlsbad got a goal, then they got another one, then another that was a buzzer beater. That was draining. Going into the fourth quarter, our expectation was to keep charging. They did, but the shots were not dropping.”

La Jolla High's Lulu Hirschfield (in black cap) looks for an opening against Carlsbad in the CIF quarterfinals.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The previous time La Jolla and Carlsbad met, the Vikings came out on top 14-1, and Jennings said that might have created a problematic mindset.

“We want them to be confident, but they were overconfident,” she said.

While Jennings acknowledged it was “tough to lose in the quarterfinals,” she said the team accomplished the goals it set early in the regular season. “We played hard, we won the games we needed to win. There were factors that were out of our control, but all the elements we could control, we did.” ◆