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Girls’ Water Polo: Locals want to end Holiday Cup drought

The Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar girls’ water polo teams co-host the Holiday Cup tournament every year.

But, in recent years, they have perhaps been too generous in hosting for the two-day tournament.


The Sailors have not win the tournament since 2005. The Sea Kings haven’t captured the title since 2008.

The local teams will look to end those winless streaks when the tournament begins Friday at both pools.


Corona del Mar (3-0), the top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1, probably is the favorite for the 16-team tournament. The Sea Kings are the top seed in Group B. They open their tournament against Palos Verdes, the No. 2 team in Division 3, at 8:30 a.m. Friday at CdM.

Should the Sea Kings win their opener, they would play either Dos Pueblos (No. 8 in D1) or Rosary (not ranked in D2) in a tournament quarterfinal at 1:55 p.m. at CdM. The Sea Kings edged Dos Pueblos, 11-10, in the season opener Dec. 7.

Senior Ally McCormick leads CdM with eight goals, and freshman Maddie Musselman has six goals and a team-high 14 steals.

Newport Harbor, No. 3 in Division 1, is the second-seeded team in Group A behind Santa Barbara. The defending Division 1 champion Sailors open their tournament against San Diego Section foe Poway at 10:40 a.m. Friday, at Newport Harbor.


If the Tars beat Poway, they would play host to either Santa Margarita (No. 2 in D2) or Huntington Beach (No. 10 in D1) in a quarterfinal at 4:05 p.m. Santa Margarita, led by senior center Emily Loughlin, is off to a 6-0 start to the season.

UC Santa Barbara-bound senior driver Carly Christian leads Newport Harbor (3-2) with 18 goals, eight assists and 19 steals. Senior Carolyn Smith has 11 goals.

Newport Harbor’s junior varsity team, led by goalkeeper Carlee Kapana and fellow sophomores Chanel Schilling and Ellie Reid, also is in the tournament. The Sailors JV squad plays Santa Barbara in its first game at 8:30 a.m. Friday. Coach Brian Melstrom said last weekend that he could see the Sailors JV team possibly finishing top 10 in the tournament.

Overall, eight of the top 10 teams in Division 1 are entered in the tournament, the exceptions being No. 4 Los Alamitos and No. 9 San Marcos. Foothill, which could play CdM in a tournament semifinal Saturday, is the defending tournament champion.


The Holiday Cup championship match is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Saturday at Newport Harbor.

Twitter: @mjszabo