Glendale gets back on track

SAN MARINO — Expectations surrounding the Glendale High boys' water polo team might be at an all-time high.

The Nitros finished second in the Pacific League and nearly advanced to the program's first appearance in a CIF championship match last season. That body of work would seemingly raise the program's outlook toward the future, despite the fact that it is now in CIF Southern Section Division V after competing in Division VI the previous season.

"The division we are in doesn't matter," said Glendale second-year Coach Forest Holbrook, whose team received a match-best seven goals from Martin Narinyan on Tuesday in Glendale's convincing 17-6 nonleague road victory against San Marino. "We are a good team if we play well and meet our potential.

"We haven't played near that so far this year, but we want to be able to peak at the end of the year in league and into CIF."

Narinyan, a senior driver, did it all for the Nitros (3-3) on Tuesday against the Titans (0-1). He contributed three assists and four steals for Glendale, ranked No. 5 in the latest CIF Division V poll behind Crescenta Valley, La Serna, Palm Springs and Walnut.

Narinyan and teammate Gor Asryan, both reigning All-Area first-team members, combined to score Glendale's first eight goals. Each had four goals in that stretch, which resulted in an 8-1 lead with 3:56 left in the second quarter. Asryan finished with five goals.

"I'm happy that we won," Narinyan said. "We've got some young guys who are getting confidence and we know that we need to be ready.

"I thought we were kind of rusty [Tuesday]. I've got to go out there and keep doing my part."

The Nitros received two goals from Vartan Mamokonyan and one apiece from David Papazian, Namuk Hakobyan and David Grigorian. Hole/guard Shant Tokatyan registered a match-high eight steals for Glendale, which advanced to the Division VI semifinals last season.

Glendale held a 9-1 halftime lead.

San Marino cut the lead to 9-3 on a goal by Hank Wang with 4:43 left in the third quarter, but Narinyan scored a pair of goals in the next 74 seconds to give Glendale an 11-3 lead.

"I thought we were able to come out pretty quick, which is what you always want to do," said Holbrook, the reigning All-Area Boys' Water Polo Coach of the Year. "We want to get as many guys as much experience as possible in a game like this.

"It's going to take a few games for us to get clicking."

Narinyan completed his offensive performance with a five-meter goal that gave Glendale a 14-5 lead with 4:59 remaining in the match.

The Nitros received five saves from goalkeeper Haik Chatalyan, who was named to the All-Area second team last season, and three from Karen Gevorkian.

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