Breakers open season at No. 1

The CIF Southern Section office released its preseason rankings for boys' water polo and girls' volleyball Monday. Defending-champion Laguna was voted the top-rated team in Division 3 boys' water polo heading into the 2011 season and the girls' volleyball team, which last year reached the semifinals in Division 1-A, is ranked third.

Laguna heads the Division 3 water polo poll and is followed by Damien, Aliso Niguel, Capistrano Valley, Mira Costa, La Canada, Palos Verdes, Peninsula, South Pasadena and Tesoro.

The Breakers have regular-season games scheduled against five of the preseason top 10 teams: Mira Costa (Sept. 20), La Cañada (Oct. 11), Palos Verdes (Oct. 14), Damien (Oct. 18) and Aliso Niguel (Nov. 2).

Marymount, which defeated Laguna last year in the semifinals and went on to win a Southern Section title, is ranked No. 1 in the first Division 1-A poll. Corona del Mar is No. 2 and following third-ranked Laguna is Vista Murrieta, Valencia/Valencia, Los Osos, Murrieta Valley, Redlands East Valley, El Dorado and Notre Dame Academy.

Laguna opens its season Sept. 13 at No. 2 Corona del Mar and also has an Oct. 5 nonleague match against fourth-ranked Vista Murrieta.


Two locals reach division finals

Two Laguna Beach athletes made their way to division finals and both came away with runner-up finishes Sunday at the 50th annual Huntington Beach Open tennis tournament.

The two-weekend event, which began Aug. 13-14, was held at several tennis court sites in Huntington Beach and hosted by Pacific Sands Cabana Club.

In the Men's Open 40s singles final, James Dao of Laguna Beach, the division's top seed, was defeated by Chris Ganz of Huntington Beach, 6-4, 6-2.

In the Men's Open Doubles final, Neel Grover of Laguna Beach and partner Shempei Suzuki of Irvine dropped a close match to Art Hernandez of Huntington Beach and Carsten Hoffmann of Newport Beach, 7-6, 7-5.

Hernandez won the Men's Open Doubles title a year ago with then-partner Brian Morton of Newport Beach.

"Going back-to-back is always great, especially in a highly-competitive match," Hernandez said of the doubles final against Grover and Suzuki.


Local club holds tryouts

Main Beach Volleyball Club will be holding open tryouts for boys ages 13 to 18 Sept. 13 at Saddleback College (28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo). Tryouts run from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, email

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