Bishop’s, La Jolla face off in CIF semis

By Phil Dailey

Staff Writer

The Bishop’s School and La Jolla High will face off Wednesday for shot at the water polo CIF finals. Both teams won their respective matches last Saturday with relative ease. For the Knights (20-8 overall, 5-1 Western League) they made easy work of La Jolla Country Day with a 21-0 win. As for the Vikings (22-9, 1-5), they topped Santana, 16-9.

In the win over the Torreys, Drew Hoffenberg led the way with seven goals while teammate Matt Michalko added six.

The win for the Knights proved just how much better the Western League is than the Central League. The Torreys came into the contest with a 24-4 record and a perfect 8-0 in Central League play.

Bishop’s coach Jim Fales said the league they play in (Western League) is one of the toughest in California and it showed in the win.

“It prepares us, the battles we have with Cathedral, with Coronado, with La Jolla,” Fales said of their league schedule. “I don’t want to take anything away from Country Day, but their league (Central League) is a building league, there are some young teams.”

As the score suggests, the match was a one-sided affair despite the Knights pulling their starting players and letting several junior varsity players get some extensive playing time.

The motivation this season for the Knights is clear, especially after suffering a CIF semifinal loss last season to Coronado.

“We have a lot of seniors on our team and we are all focused on winning,” Hoffenberg said. “We lost last year — we didn’t make the finals for the first time in something like 16 years.”

“This whole year we have been really motivated to get back and make sure we are not overlooking anyone. We just have to work hard.”

Up next for the Knights is a game against La Jolla. The Vikings and the Knights split the season series, each winning at each others’ pool.

The Bishop’s School will take on La Jolla High at 5:45 on Wednesday at Coggan Pool.