By Rick LeBeauThe girls’ water polo teams for Bishop’s and La Jolla High swept through the CIF quarterfinal round last Saturday at The Coggan Family Aquatic Complex at LJHS. As expected, neither team was challenged on the way to a possible matchup Saturday in the CIF final. The Knights took down Del Norte,18-2, behind four goals each from Natalie Chun and senior Dylan Pinkalla.
La Jolla also dominated its opponent, Mission Bay, taking down the Bucs 20-4 on the strength of six goals from Ariel Arcidiacano.
The teams will move on to tonight’s semifinals against league rivals they’ve played twice each already this season. The Knights had two dominating performances against Coronado, including a nine-goal game by junior Jessie Webster in one of the victories. Coach Doug Peabody will not allow his squad to get complacent, however. Coronado and Bishop’s have a long history as rivals, and have faced off in the finals for the CIF championship more than a dozen times in the last 14 years. Bishop’s is seeded first in the playoffs for the county Division III championship, while Coronado is seeded fourth.
The later semifinal tonight will pit the Vikings against Cathedral Catholic. As they did last season, the two teams had two extremely competitive matches so far in the regular season, with La Jolla winning both times by a single goal. The Vikings also faced the Dons in last year’s semifinal, escaping with a victory to advance to the CIF water polo finals for the first time in school history. They are hoping to get a rematch with Bishop’s again this year, but have a tough obstacle in the form of Cathedral
Catholic, hoping to turn the tables and break their five-game losing skid versus the Vikings.
Bishop’s will rely on the arms of Webster, Chun, and Pinkalla, along with Erin Pannek in their quest to repeat as CIF Champs. Senior goalie Gabby Stone will hope to finish her high school career on top again, before matriculating to Stanford, where she was heavily recruited.
The Vikings will be led by Arcidiacano, the season scoring leader for coach Tom Atwell’s squad. La Jolla carries a pretty balanced attack on offense, including strong support from lefty Scarlett Hallahan, Heidi Moreland, Sarah Young, Taylor Bertrand, and Michaela Tarantino. Lauren Silver will anchor the Vikings in goal.
Game times are 5:45 for the Bishop’s- Coronado match. The La Jolla-Cathedral match will commence at 7:30. Saturday’s CIF final match will be at 7:30. All games will take place at Coggan on the La Jolla High campus.