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UCI players make impact

Cole Bitter, Rick Merlo and Dreason Barry, all teammates for UC

Irvine men’s water polo team last season, each scored once to help

the Newport Water Polo Foundation finish seventh following an 8-5

victory over the Bay Area Masters in USA Water Polo’s national

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championships Sunday at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Bitter and Merlo, a third-team All-American last season, scored

consecutive goals in the third period to give Newport a 7-3 lead.

Newport’s first seven goals came from seven different scorers.

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Bay Area’s Daniel O’Connell trimmed Newport’s lead to 7-5 with

2:51 remaining after tallying his fourth goal of the contest on a

6-on-5, but Andrew Mello found the back of the cage with 26 seconds

left to preserve the victory for Newport.

Stanford defeated the Olympic Club, 9-8, for the championship of

the 16-team field.

CdM’s Tolfa leads Trott

* SOFTBALL: Michelle Tolfa, who will be a sophomore at Corona del

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Mar High, allowed two runs, both unearned, and scattered three hits

in pitching the first two games for the USA Athletics Trott, a girls

under-14 softball team, in USA Softball’s Girls Class A national

tournament in Midland, Texas, which concluded Sunday.

Tolfa, who earned Newport-Mesa co-Player of the Year honors with

CdM teammate Holly Van Hiel last spring, struck out seven in seven

innings of a 1-0 loss to the Arizona Cats, the state champions, to

conclude pool play Wednesday.

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Tolfa allowed just two hits in six shutout innings of the Trott’s

5-1 victory over the West Texas Eclipse to open the tournament. Tolfa

added a double and left in the sixth with a 5-0 lead.

Trott, a Fountain Valley-based team, went 1-2 in the tournament,

finishing 33rd out of 65 teams.


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