Playing under an unrelenting rain and against a physically dominant opponent, the Glendale High's girls' water polo team saw an already arduous task grow even tougher.
Facing the No. 2 seed in the CIF Southern Section Division V first round, the Nitros fell behind quickly and never recovered against host and favorite Temescal Canyon, 17-3, on Wednesday evening.
"They just got a really quick lead," said Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook, "and made it tough on us by playing a really strong and physical game."
Temescal Canyon, the defending division titlist, improved to 23-5 and advanced to Saturday's quarterfinal round to play Yucaipa or Walnut.
Holbrook compared Temescal Canyon, in terms of its ability as a team, to Crescenta Valley, the Pacific League champion and No. 3 seed in the tournament.
"[They were] similar to CV," Holbrook said. "[I] felt they played a lot more physically [than CV]. Not as strong of a counter[-attack], but very good front court.
"They have a solid six players who are all very strong, all play physically, very little weakness."
The Nitros (10-11), who lost three consecutive matches to end the season, fell behind, 7-1, after the first quarter and could never come back. The defense recovered a bit, allowing just two goals in the second quarter, but the Glendale offense never caught fire and still trailed, 9-1, at the half.
"We were able to find some success with a four-drop," Holbrook said. "They have a solid goalie."
Glendale goalie Marquita Lopez-Engelman had 13 saves in a match that saw rain for its entirety.
The Nitros' goals came from Desiree Ivett Garcia-Solano, Biyouregh Boghozian and Venus Payandeh, while Veronica Sovakian, Vehik Golobi and Jacqueline Jones all had assists and Claudia Somme drew four ejections during a match that Holbrook said had more than 15.