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Fast start lifts Nitros to victory

BURBANK — While the Glendale High and Burbank boys’ water polo teams have posted winning records, they are on opposite sides of the spectrum in the Pacific League.

The Nitros held a two-match lead against the Bulldogs entering Tuesday’s league match at Burbank. Thanks to a big effort from Armand Momdzhyan, Glendale extended its lead.

Momdzhyan finished with a match-best 10 goals to power Glendale to a 24-14 victory.

Glendale, ranked No. 5 in CIF Southern Section Division V, improved to 13-7, 3-0 in league. Burbank, which received six goals from Zach Card, dropped to 13-3, 0-3 .


Momdzhyan, a sophomore hole/set, finished with six second-quarter goals.

“We had a good plan coming into the game,” Momdzhyan said. “We ran our press on defense to get some counter-attacks and we had a lot of switches on offense that led to a lot of goals.

“We were able to go out there and just keep playing like a team.”

Glendale raced out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Nitros scored all seven of its goals in less than five minutes, further compounding the problems for the Bulldogs.


“We played soft in the first quarter and I don’t know why we had the slow start,” said Burbank interim Coach James Berman, whose team played without driver Sam Akopian, who was sidelined because of illness. “It may have something to do [with not having Akopian].

“We got a little bit of offense going late in the first quarter. We had some missed opportunities during stretches of the game.”

Burbank, which began league with losses against Hoover — ranked No. 9 in the division — and Crescenta Valley —the defending league champion — received a pair of second-quarter goals from Sean Savoy.

In the second quarter, Momdzhyan scored on consecutive goals three times. Momdzhyan’s fourth goal of the quarter extended Glendale’s lead to 12-2 with 1:36 left in the first half. He then scored twice in the final minute to make it 14-4.

Glendale third-year Coach Forest Holbrook said the Nitros needed to jump out in front quickly, something they didn’t do in Saturday’s 13-11 nonleague road loss against Palm Springs.

“We came out flat against Palm Springs, and, with league, you always want to be able to come out stronger,” Holbrook said. “That was our main goal.

“We were able to run a tight defensive press and it work out well. We didn’t know much about Burbank. We wanted to focus on our team, and we still have so much to work on in improving.”

Glendale received three goals from Manuk Piloyan and two each from Artak Arzumanyan, Shant Tokatyan, David Grigorian and Emile Giragosian. Martin Chatalyan, Trevor Fritz and Vahagn Gharagozyan scored one goal apiece for the Nitros.


Burbank got three goals from Savoy and two from Daniel Gonzalez.