NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Much like its current surroundings, the Hoover High girls’ water polo team finds itself under construction.
With the Hoover High campus undergoing massive repairs and improvements, the Tornadoes opened their season on Tuesday afternoon hoping to do much of the same.
“As long as we progress, [in] time, by [Pacific] League, we should be ready to compete,” said second-year Hoover Coach Ara Oganesyan shortly after his team fell in its season opener, 13-5, to visiting Culver City in a nonleague match.
Oganesyan is fresh off the boys’ season, in which Hoover turned in one of its best campaigns ever, going 14-5 and advancing to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division VI playoffs.
Upon first impressions, such a turnaround could be a bit too lofty an expectation for the girls’ squad. Nonetheless, Oganesyan is confident his team will improve.
“Those girls, fortunately, they’re fast learners,” said Oganesyan, who was quick to admit that his team’s biggest area in need of improvement is the aspect of teamwork and working together. “[With] game experience, that’ll come around, too.”
On Tuesday, Hoover fell behind, 2-0, but was quick to answer.
Allisa Ovsepyan scored with 5:03 remaining in the opening period and then again with 3:43 left to knot the match at 2.
Culver City never looked back from that point, however, as it scored twice more to finish the first quarter with a 4-2 lead and then outscored the Tornadoes, 5-0, in the second quarter for a 9-2 halftime lead.
Hoover’s Charice Hakoupian opened the third quarter scoring to end Culver City’s 7-0 run.
The Tornadoes would score twice more, as Ovsepyan tallied the final score of the third and fourth quarters.
Ovsepyan finished with a match-high four goals.
“When we get to the place where we want to be, teams are gonna have to learn to shut her down to beat us,” Oganesyan said.
Hoover goalie Atineh Sepanian chipped in 11 saves for the Tornadoes’ cause.