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Edison girls’ water polo impresses in CIF opener

Edison's Madison Emerson (10) shoots for a goal against Woodbridge on Wednesday night.
Edison’s Madison Emerson (10) shoots for a goal against Woodbridge on Wednesday night in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.
(James Carbone)
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The Edison High girls’ water polo team does not have to rewind too far to find a blueprint for success.

Two years ago, the Chargers shared the Wave League title with Huntington Beach and advanced all the way to the CIF Southern Section Division 2 title match.

This year, again, Edison split two league games with the Oilers and earned a share of the crown — just the third in program history. Now the Chargers are hoping to add the lengthy playoff stay to match.

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Edison goalie Skyler Spencer (1) makes one of her 17 saves against Woodbridge.
Edison goalie Skyler Spencer (1) makes one of her 17 saves against Woodbridge.
(James Carbone)

Edison looked good in its opener, using a varied attack and stout defense for a 13-3 home win over Woodbridge on Wednesday night in a Division 2 opener.

All six starting field players for Edison scored at least once, with Justine Chomchavalit, Gaby Kelly, Jillian Van Gemert, Madison Emerson and Falon Johnson each netting two goals. Senior goalkeeper Skyler Spencer shined with 17 saves.

“I thought our communication was really good tonight,” said Kenna Boehm, a senior team captain along with Chomchavalit and Spencer, who had a goal and a pair of assists. “We really just worked as a well-oiled machine and were able to all set each other up. We were able to not be selfish on our own goals, but just help out our teammates for a cohesive win.

“That was the best I think our team has looked all season so far. It’s only up from here, hopefully.”

Edison's Falon Johnson (3) and Kenna Boehm (9) bump fists after a goal against Woodbridge on Wednesday night.
Edison’s Falon Johnson (3) and Kenna Boehm (9) bump fists after a goal against Woodbridge on Wednesday night.
(James Carbone)

Edison (19-8) plays at No. 2-seeded Rancho Cucamonga Alta Loma (18-9) In a Division 2 quarterfinal match on Saturday.

First-year Chargers coach Jarrett Tossey, a 2014 Edison graduate, said he thought those two league battles with Huntington Beach got his team ready for the postseason.

Edison's Justine Chomchavalit (2) passes for the assist against Woodbridge on Wednesday night.
Edison’s Justine Chomchavalit (2) passes for the assist against Woodbridge on Wednesday night.
(James Carbone)

“Splitting the league title with a D1 team is hard,” Tossey said. “Even though we lost [the second game by one goal], it was kind of like a benchmark. It was like, ‘Hey, girls, this is proof that you can compete at the highest level.’”

Edison led just 2-1 after a quarter against Woodbridge, the No. 3 entry from the Pacific Coast League. But the Chargers blitzed the Warriors for six goals in the second quarter. The last two came on the counterattack from Kelly, a talented swimmer for Edison who Tossey said has also stepped up in water polo.

Edison's Jillian Van Gamert (8) shoots past the Woodbridge defense for a goal.
Edison’s Jillian Van Gamert (8) shoots past the Woodbridge defense for a goal.
(James Carbone)

Edison held Woodbridge to a single goal until Lena DeLand scored deep into the third quarter for the visitors.

“I’m proud of how I did,” Spencer said. “I kind of went in feeling a little queasy and nervous. Definitely, that first goal scared me a lot, but I can trust in these girls. Once we started working that drop [defense], it was all good.”

Members of the Edison High girls' water polo team cheer as the Chargers won against Woodbridge on Wednesday night.
Members of the Edison High girls’ water polo team cheer for their teammates as the Chargers won against Woodbridge on Wednesday night.
(James Carbone)

In other CIF girls’ water polo openers Wednesday:

Corona del Mar 19, Downey 4: The top-seeded Sea Kings won on the road to open the Division 1 playoffs.

Ava Schoening and Reagan Weir each scored five goals to lead CdM. Mackenzie Dollander scored four.

CdM (17-11) will play at home against Riverside King in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Murrieta Valley 10, Huntington Beach 3: Huntington Beach, the co-Wave League champion, finished the season 13-12 after dropping the Division 1 first-round match Wednesday.

Costa Mesa 16, Burbank Burroughs 6: The Mustangs opened the Division 3 playoffs with a victory.

Costa Mesa (12-6) plays on the road against top-seeded Corona Centennial on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Fountain Valley 9, San Dimas 6: The Barons earned a road win Wednesday in the Division 3 first-round match.

Fountain Valley (16-9) hosts No. 4-seeded Buena Park in a quarterfinal match Saturday, at Marina High at 3:30 p.m.

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