GLENDALE — Though his Crescenta Valley High girls' water polo team emerged from the Pacific League undefeated for a second straight season, Falcons Coach Pete Loporchio has proclaimed all season that the league is one of, if not the very best, leagues in CIF Southern Section Division V.
Ample evidence of that claim came Sunday afternoon, as the CIF offices released the Division V playoff pairings with five Pacific League squads receiving postseason bids, led by the Falcons, who garnered a No. 3 seed.
Crescenta Valley is set to host Yucaipa at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Pasadena City College. Glendale, which entered as the third-seeded team out of the Pacific, will take to the road to face La Sierra at 4:30 at Arlington High.
"That's pretty much what I expected," said Loporchio of how the pairings, which have Redlands East Valley as the top seed and Temescal Canyon as the No. 2. "We were hoping for the third seed. We're pretty excited with what we got. I can't complain."
The Falcons (25-3) will play host to a Yucaipa squad that went 11-12 and finished third in the Citrus Belt League. The winner will face the winner of the Walnut at Arlington matchup.
Loporchio, whose squad is led by reigning All-Area Player of the Year Kim Fraisse and a steady core of seniors that includes Adrienne Ingalla and Christine Cho, said he doesn't know too much about the Thunderbirds, but is familiar with them.
"I have an idea of what they're about," said Loporchio, whose team saw Yucaipa first-hand during a fall tournament in Jurupa Valley.
Loporchio also said he likes the chances of league counterparts Pasadena and Glendale, which, like Crescenta Valley, were mainstays in the division's top 10 throughout the season.
Glendale, which tied for second in the Pacific, but enters the playoffs as the league's No. 3 team due to Pasadena's higher finish in the league tournament, will travel to face La Sierra (15-9), the Inland Valley League's No. 2 team.
The winner is likely to face top-seeded Redlands East Valley (24-3), which opens against a wild-card entrant, which will be either Perris (17-12) or Burroughs (8-8), which took fifth in the Pacific League.
Glendale second-year Coach Forest Holbrook said he anticipated the brackets turning out as they did.
"I figured it would come out this way being a No. 3 seed from our league and then getting a good matchup in the first round and then a tougher game in the second round," Holbrook said. "We like playing in the big games and, with CIF, it's always a lot of fun.
"It's not who the better team is, but who is the better team that day."
Fourth-place Pacific League finisher Burbank (17-8) has the tall task of taking on host Temescal Canyon, the No. 2 seed with a 22-5 record.
Pasadena (15-10), which notched the fifth seed, will host Elsinore (16-12).
Crescenta Valley, which has won two consecutive league titles, has also advanced to the quarterfinals the last two seasons in Division IV. Loporchio believes his team is headed in the right direction after a solid 9-6 win over Pasadena in the league finals on Thursday.
"I like where we are in terms of assertiveness and intensity level," Loporchio said.