Girls’ Varsity Water Polo Santa Barbara Tournament

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PC: Keith Wyer

Team Captain Sierra Martin (’20) received the ball in a game earlier this season.

The Girls’ Varsity Water Polo team traveled over 200 miles to Santa Barbara this weekend to participate in the Tournament of Champions.

21 teams played in the tournament, many within Division I of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section plus Bishop’s and Carlsbad High School from the CIF San Diego Section. “Almost all of the best teams are in Southern California, so it’s probably one of the toughest tournaments in the nation,” said Team Captain Sierra Martin (‘20).

Bishop’s, Laguna Beach High School, Newport Harbor High School, and San Marcos High School were the top four seeds in the tournament, according to the Orange County Register. A seed is how high a team is ranked before a tournament begins.

Local news reported that the tournament was relocated due to a broken pool heater at the original venue, Santa Barbara High School.

Oaks Christian School, in Thousand Oaks near Los Angeles, hosted a few opening-round games on Thursday, as did Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, a suburb ten minutes north of Downtown Santa Barbara. The remaining games on Friday and Saturday took place at Dos Pueblos and San Marcos High School, located directly between Goleta and Santa Barbara.

The Bishop’s team kicked off the tournament Thursday at 8:00 p.m. playing Harvard Westlake School and won 13-12.

Friday, Bishop’s faced off against Foothill High School, and on Saturday, against Carlsbad. While the team unfortunately lost both games, the first 5-8 and the latter 7-6, the girls made a triumphant comeback Saturday afternoon with an 11-10 win against Santa Margarita Catholic High School, earning them seventh place overall in the tournament.

The coaches of the seven highest ranking teams in the tournament each select one of their players to join the honorary All-Tournament Team. This year, the Girls’ Varsity Water Polo coaches chose Sofia Stein (‘21).

Next, on Tuesday, January 13 at 4 p.m., the team will play in their first League game versus La Jolla High School at La Jolla High’s Coggan Family Aquatic Complex.