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Crescenta Valley water polo continues undefeated Pacific League course

GLENDALE — Glendale High was the latest opponent to try and knock off the Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team.

The Falcons came into Tuesday afternoon's match as the league's lone undefeated team, as the squad is attempting to capture its eighth straight Pacific League championship.

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A strong start by Crescenta Valley against the host Nitros helped it remain unbeaten and atop the league standings following an 18-9 victory, its 60th league win in a row.

The Falcons (16-3, 4-0 in league) spread their scoring around with nine players tallying goals.

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But it was a fast start that set the tone against Glendale (6-6, 3-2), as Crescenta Valley jumped out to a 7-0 lead after one quarter.

"I think that we just played really well this game," said Crescenta Valley's Alex Garas, who scored a match-high six goals to go with four steals. "We really came together as a team and it was really a relief for us that we were able to have such a good start. We were just more confident with our shooting, we were more confident in stealing the ball and countering.

"Most of our seniors left last year and we have a young team. We have improved as much as a team since the beginning of the year and to be able to continue the league streak despite being young is cool."

Hanna Zarkari added five goals and Sam Menke added two for the Falcons.

The Nitros won the fourth quarter and equaled the Falcons' goal output in the third. However, a substantial first-half lead by Crescenta Valley was too much for the Nitros to overcome.

"Just CV having a good team and good players, it's hard to come back against them when you get down early," Glendale Coach Casey Sripramong said. "They move the ball around very well and they have the players who can score.

"But I thought that we played hard and we worked hard as a team. We were able to run a lot of the plays we were hoping to run and that was something positive to come out of the game. But we really ended the game how we should have started it."

With a 7-0 deficit to start the second quarter, Glendale broke the shutout with a goal from Mondana Nassirpour (team-high five goals) at the 6:21 mark. Nassirpour then scored with 5:02 remaining to cut the deficit to 7-2. But Crescenta Valley scored the next five goals and went into halftime with a 12-2 lead.

The teams scored four goals each in the third quarter and the Falcons went into the final stanza with a 16-6 advantage.

Glendale outscored the Falcons in the fourth quarter, 3-2.

"What was good for us today is that we have been working on different defenses, different plays and we were able to do some of that today," Falcons Coach Ricky Mulcahey said. "What was also good is that we worked players in some other positions, moving them around in different spots.

"Every game is important for us and we have to be ready every game. We need to take what we can from these games and learn from them, move on and get better."

Elen Muradyan and Amanda Briones added two goals each for the Nitros.

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