CIF-SS Semifinal Predictions, La Jolla & Bishop’s Advance in San Diego

CDM2013CassidyPapa

Irvine is home this evening to arguably the most exciting day of the academic year in girls’ water polo. While the CIF Southern Section Division I semis carry the most weight and tradition, all seven divisions of the mammoth section will play matches to decide Saturday’s championship games.

Orange County’s veteran water polo scribes weigh in on the proceedings. In the premier division OCVarsity’s Dan Albano favors Santa Ana’s Foothill over Corona del Mar (pictured above) and their dynamic Greek twins, the Haralabidis’, while Santa Barbara gets the nod, barely, over perennial contenders Newport Harbor.

Matt Szabo of the Daily Pilot also picks against the local school, Newport, but favors the Sea Queens over Foothill in the other semifinal. Both winners will only do so by one goal, according to Szabo, who predicts an overtime win for the Dons of Santa Barbara.

TWp agrees with Szabo. Foothill has beaten CdM twice already this season. But the Sea Queens have come together nicely to end the season and will carry that momentum in to the championships on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Dons can make the argument they are slightly underrated. Santa Barbara has been the class of California throughout the season but are only tepidly favored over Newport. The outcome won’t be that close. The Dons will win by three, highlighting a stealthy shift of relative power in girls water polo from Orange County to Santa Barbara.

Albano adds insights on contests in nearly all seven divisions
, predicting a slight upset in Division II with Mater Dei taking down Corona’s Santiago.

Down south, The Bishop’s School was only lightly challenged by Cathedral Catholic in San Diego’s Division III semifinals, winning 15-5, while La Jolla ousted Coronado to earn a chance to win their first section championship. The section’s Division I semifinals, featuring Carlsbad and Torrey Pines, take place tonight. Ramona and Valhalla are favored in tomorrow’s Division II semis.

The Southern Section semifinals will be streamed live in high definition tonight by Go Live Polo.