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Newport Harbor’s Ike Love repeats as Surf League boys’ water polo MVP

Newport Harbor senior Ike Love, shown shooting against Los Angeles Loyola on Nov. 23, 2019, was again the pick for the Surf League's best player.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Newport Harbor High senior center Ike Love repeated as the Surf League MVP in boys’ water polo after helping the Sailors win another league title.

Love was joined on the first team by Sailors senior defender Reed Stemler, senior goalkeeper Blake Jackson and junior center Eli Liechty.

Huntington Beach senior attacker Cooper Haddad and junior attacker Chase Dodd also earned first-team accolades, as did Corona del Mar senior attacker Tanner Pulice and Laguna Beach senior goalkeeper Caden Capobianco.

Love, bound for Stanford, helped Newport Harbor (28-5, 6-0 in league) win its third straight league title, along with the USC-bound Stemler and Jackson and the junior Liechty. The Sailors advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title match for the second straight year before losing 6-4 to Studio City Harvard-Westlake.

Newport Harbor also made the CIF State Southern California Regional Division I final, which resulted in an 11-10 overtime loss to Harvard-Westlake.

Haddad, bound for Long Beach State, and Dodd both tied for the team lead with 33 goals during league play. Huntington Beach went 19-11 overall and 4-2 in the league for second place. The Oilers advanced to the Division 1 semifinals before losing 10-7 to Harvard-Westlake, eventually finishing fourth in the division. Huntington Beach also made the SoCal Regional Division I semifinals but lost 10-9 to the Wolverines.

The UCLA-bound Pulice led CdM with 129 goals, and was second on the team with 31 steals and third with 34 assists. He helped the Sea Kings (19-11, 2-4 in league) go third in the league and qualify for the Division 2 playoffs, where CdM lost 9-8 in sudden-death overtime to eventual champion Foothill in the quarterfinals.

Capobianco, bound for the U.S. Naval Academy, was a defensive leader for Laguna Beach (15-13, 0-6). The Breakers lost 7-1 at Riverside Poly in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs.

Newport Harbor senior attackers Tommy Kennedy and Makoto Kenney earned second-team accolades, as did Huntington Beach senior goalkeeper Jacob Pyle and junior attacker Ethan Crooks.

CdM senior utility player Tyler Harvey and junior attacker Eamon Hennessey also earned second-team honors, as did Laguna Beach senior attacker James Nolan.

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