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Laguna Beach girls’ water polo earns top seed in CIF Division 1 playoffs

Laguna Beach girls’ water polo earns top seed in CIF Division 1 playoffs
Sophomore Molly Renner, shown in action on Dec. 15, 2018, is a key player for the Laguna Beach High girls' water polo team. The Breakers are the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. (Jeff Antenore)

The Laguna Beach High girls’ water polo team has been the top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1 and 2 all season.

So it wasn’t exactly a surprise when the Breakers earned the top seed in the Division 1 playoffs Saturday, when the Southern Section released the playoff brackets.

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Laguna Beach (26-1), the Wave League champion, will host Mater Dei (16-8-1) in a Division 1 quarterfinal match Thursday. The Monarchs tied for first in the Trinity League with Orange Lutheran and Santa Margarita but ended up as the designated third-place team.

Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor are also both in the Division 1 draw, though both open on the road. The Surf League runner-up Sea Kings (17-7) play at No. 3-seeded Goleta Dos Pueblos (21-8), the Channel League champion, in the quarterfinals Thursday.

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Newport Harbor (17-10), an at-large team after finishing third in the Surf League, plays at No. 2-seeded Orange Lutheran (20-6) in another Division 1 quarterfinal Thursday.

Huntington Beach (17-10), the Wave League champion, has a home match in the first round in Division 2. The Oilers, ranked No. 7 in Division 2, host Southwestern League champion Murrieta Valley (13-12) in the first round Wednesday.

Costa Mesa (14-13) has a first-round bye in Division 4. The Orange Coast League champion Mustangs play either top-seeded Moreno Valley Valley View or Whittier California in the second round on Thursday.

Also in Division 4, Wave League runner-up Edison (11-16) plays at Freeway League runner-up Troy (18-9) in the first round Tuesday.

Los Amigos has a first-round bye in Division 6. The Garden Grove League champion Lobos (16-11), who finished the regular season ranked No. 7 in the division, play the Hacienda Heights Wilson-Santa Fe Springs Santa Fe winner in the second round Thursday.

Estancia is a wild-card in Division 7. The Eagles (13-14), who finished third in the Orange Coast League, travel to play Rancho Alamitos (6-14), the third-place finisher from the Garden Grove League, on Tuesday.

All initial matches prior to the quarterfinal round are scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

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