The Edison boys' water polo team took its first step in postseason play Tuesday with a road trip to face Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in a first-round CIF Southern Section Division 1 wild-card game. When the final buzzer sounded, it was all Chargers.
Edison fell behind early before bolting to a big lead, then turned to its junior varsity players to finish off the Knights in the fourth quarter, which they did in an eventual 17-9 victory at Brentwood School. The win put the Chargers in a first-round game Wednesday at top-ranked Mater Dei. The score wasn't available at press time.
Tony Morelli led all scorers with eight goals. Justin Harrison scored five goals, Brent Bazzell scored twice and Alec Niederland and Troy Oates both scored once. Nate Sfreddo had four saves in the cage.
Coach Diggy Riley said Edison's 17th win of the season is the most in his 10-year tenure as head coach and this year's trip to the playoffs, combined with last year's appearance, is the first time he's taken the Chargers to the postseason in consecutive years.
"The boys were very focused and determined to play solid defense against Notre Dame," he said. "We completely shut them down for three quarters before subbing in our entire JV team."
Edison secured an at-large bid to the Division 1 playoffs after cruising past Fountain Valley, 15-1, in the Sunset League and regular-season finale for both teams on Nov. 2.
Two other boys' water polo teams, Huntington Beach and Ocean View, also qualified for the playoffs. Huntington, ranked fifth in Division 1 and the No. 2 team from the Sunset League, hosted Ventura (Channel No. 3) Wednesday. The score wasn't available at press time. Golden West League champion Ocean View, ranked fourth in Division 7, hosts Arroyo Valley (San Andreas No. 3, at-large) at 3:15 p.m. Thursday.
Sunset League co-champion Edison takes its top ranking into the second-round of the Division 1-AA playoffs Thursday. The Chargers, who had a first-round bye, will host Moore League runner-up Lakewood at 7 p.m. The Lancers on Tuesday swept Chaminade (Mission League No. 2), 25-19, 25-16, 25-19, in a first-round match.
Ocean View, winner of the Golden West League, drew a first-round bye in the Division 4AA playoffs. The Seahawks host Patriot (Sunkist No. 3), which on Tuesday eliminated Big Bear, 25-10, 25-13, 25-12, in first-round action.
Huntington Beach (Sunset League at-large) had its season end Tuesday in a first-round loss to San Clemente (South Coast League No. 1). The Oilers took the match to the wire before the host Tritons pulled out a 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-12 victory.
Edison, the No. 3 team from the Sunset League and at-large entry in the Division 2 playoffs, dropped a wild-card match to St. Lucy's of Glendora. The teams played to a 9-9 tie score but the visiting Regents advanced by holding a 78-76 advantage in games.
Riley said that five members of the Chargers aquatics program signed a National Letters of Intent on Wednesday: Jessica Becker, Sonoma State University (water polo); Alys Williams, UCLA (water polo); Abby Oshiro, Cal State Long Beach (water polo); Ellie Morrissey, Northern Arizona University (swimming), and Joshua Smith, UC Santa Barbara (swimming).