Newport Harbor High boys' water polo Coach Jason Lynch is expected to return from suspension Friday as his Sailors and Corona del Mar are in the three-day, 32-team South Coast Tournament, which begins today.
Assistant Corey Delahunt has been filling in for Lynch as he serves a two-week suspension levied when the CIF Southern Section discovered the Sailors used an academically ineligible player last year. Newport Harbor had to forfeit 25 wins in which the player, believed to be Jon Walters, played.
It will take five wins over the three days to win this tournament. The top four seeds are El Toro, Mater Dei, Newport Harbor and Loyola. The Sailors (3-0), ranked No. 3 in the Division I poll, will host a pool at their own pool, and they begin at 3 p.m. today against Buena Park. Should they win, their second game would be at 7 p.m. tonight against either Esperanza or Redlands.
Corona del Mar is seeded No. 5 and the CdM pool is also a host site. The Sea Kings (0-2), ranked No. 5 in Division II, begin at 5 p.m. today against Edison. Should they win, they'd play either Villa Park or La Canada in their second game at 8 p.m.
The tournament continues Friday and pool winners will meet for the semifinals and finals Saturday at Newport Harbor. The final is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Saturday.
Loyola, of Los Angeles, is defending South Coast Tournament champion. A Back Bay school last won it when Newport Harbor did in 2007, also the last time the Sailors won the CIF title.