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Breakers earn No. 4 seed in playoffs

Having moved up -- way up -- in division competition for the 2002

girls’ tennis season, Laguna Beach High began its quest Thursday to

win its first CIF Southern Section Division I playoff match.

The Breakers, who turned in an outstanding regular season in their

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first year of Division I competition, placed second place in the

Pacific Coast League standings and earned the division’s No. 4 seed

in the team tournament.

They hosted Canyon, the No. 3 team out of the Century League, in a

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first-round match on Thursday. A win there would send the Breakers

into a second round match on Saturday against the winner of

Thursday’s match between Westlake and Chaminade.

Scores from Thursday’s playoff action were not available at press

time.

Laguna Beach (16-4) is the four-time defending Division V

champion.

“There are eight teams in the division who look to be pretty

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equal,” Laguna Beach coach Brian Ricker said of a stacked division

field that includes No. 1 seed Beverly Hills (two-time defending

Division III champion), second-seed Calabasas, four-time defending

Division I champion Peninsula and two-time defending Division IV

champion and third seed Corona del Mar, which edged Laguna Beach for

the PCL title.

One of Laguna Beach’s key victories this season was a 10-8

decision over Peninsula. Top-seed Beverly Hills also defeated the

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Panthers by the same score.

In boys’ water polo, Laguna Beach, the No. 2 entry from the PCL,

played host Thursday to Capistrano Valley, the South Coast League’s

No. 3 team, in a Division I first round match.

The match will be a rematch of a September meeting between the two

schools. Laguna Beach came out on top, 8-7, in a match that went to

the wire.

The Breakers wrapped up PCL play late last week and claimed second

place in the process by dumping University, 15-9. Chris Stansbury

netted a game-best eight goals and Nich McConnell scored four to pace

Laguna Beach.

A victory against Capistrano Valley would send Laguna Beach into a

second-round match Saturday against potentially unbeaten Long Beach

Wilson.

The 27-0 Bruins, the division’s top seed and its defending

champion, hosted Loyola on Thursday.

Wilson is riding a 35-match win streak and should the Bruins get

past Loyola and Laguna Beach eliminate Capistrano Valley, the teams

would meet for the second time this season.

Back in late September at the South Coast Tournament, Laguna Beach

gave Wilson a tough battle before succumbing, 9-6.

Laguna Beach boys’ water polo is appearing in postseason play for

the 11th consecutive year.


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