Nitros best Tornadoes

BURBANK — Normally, the Glendale High and Hoover girls' water polo teams don't meet for the first time until the final week of the regular season.

That's not the case this season. The Nitros and Tornadoes found out around Thanksgiving that the two squads would meet in pool-play competition at the second annual Burbank Tournament.

Round One went to Glendale in a big way.

Glendale got two goals apiece from four scorers Friday night to earn a convincing 13-2 victory at Burbank High.

Glendale (3-3) and Hoover (0-3) won't battle again until Feb. 2 at Hoover, but neither Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook or Hoover Coach Ara Oganesyan seemed to mind an early season matchup.

"It's OK to play them [early], but at the beginning of the year, you don't look at who you are playing," said Holbrook, whose team scored five goals in the first and second quarters to built a 10-0 halftime advantage. "We want to focus on our own game plan and we want to give our players playing time and get some experience.

"With Hoover, I expect them to be better by the end of the year. They are a team that's not to be taken lightly."

The Nitros got a pair of goals from Kristina Terzyan and Milene Minassians to grab a 4-0 lead in the first quarter. Jacqueline Jones recorded two goals a minute apart midway through the second quarter to extend Glendale's lead to 8-0.

Oganesyan said the Tornadoes had no answer for the Nitros, who received a team-high three goals from Veronica Sovakian.

"Until we have some success against them, it doesn't matter," said Oganesyan, who got two second-half goals from Erin Babakhani. "They have had our number lately.

"They are good with some talent and strong players. Playing them this early gives us an idea of the things we can do and need to work on. As long as we make some progress toward the end of the season and I see improvements, I'll be happy. We want to be refining a few things, like protecting the ball and passing to the proper spots."

The Nitros also got two goals from Alique Berberian and one apiece from Sarah Kamiya and Amanda Roberts. Glendale goalkeeper Mariquita Lopez finished with four saves for the Nitros, who later battled La Cañada in another pool-play contest.

Hoover opened the tournament with a 12-2 loss against El Segundo. Babakhani scored both goals.

Later Friday afternoon, Glendale defeated La Cañada, 17-3. Desiree Garcia Solano and Alique Berberian led the Nitros with five goals each, while Minassians added four goals.

Glendale and Hoover will also have two tournament matches today. Glendale will take on Alemany at 10:30 a.m. and then face El Segundo at 1:50 p.m. Hoover will be pitted against La Cañada at 8:50 a.m. and Alemany at 2:40 p.m.

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