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Water polo notes and rankings – Sept. 21

The season is about four weeks old now, and so far there haven’t been too many surprises. The perennial top teams are still dominating in nonleague games and the big tournaments, but some of the smaller tournaments have given other teams time to shine.
Livermore High’s boys team, which advanced to the second round of NCS for the first time last season, won the Newark Memorial High tournament over the weekend. The Cowboys beat Mission San Jose 15-12 in the final for their second consecutive title at the annual tournament. Ian McNair led Livermore with 25 goals, nine assists and 13 steals while teammate Mike Hawkins had 19 goals, nine assists and 20 steals.
Alhambra’s boys team also had a strong weekend, earning second place at the Fairfield tournament. The Bulldogs fell to El Camino-Sacramento 10-9 in the final, despite four goals from Dominic Lucido and three from Evan Weiss.

On Deck: This weekend’s NCS/CCS Challenge should give us a good idea of where the top 5-6 teams are at this point in the season since so far there hasn’t been much competition between them. No. 1 Miramonte won’t be attending, but De La Salle, Acalanes, Las Lomas, San Ramon Valley, Monte Vista and Campolindo will all be part of the 32-team tournament. Look for De La Salle to make a move in the East Bay rankings with a good showing at the tournament. The Spartans were impressive last week, topping Monte Vista easily in their EBAL opener then holding a two-goal third quarter lead over Miramonte on Friday before eventually falling 9-7.But nobody ranked above the Spartans lost a game either (besides Las Lomas in the championship game of the Clovis tournament to San Clemente) so there wasn’t much room for movement this week.
As for the girls, some local teams will travel to Roseville for the Woodcreek Invitational this weekend, but the two best games of the week will be played locally. Monte Vista and Campolindo, the two NCS finalists a year ago, meet on Wednesday at the Soda Aquatic Center. Monte Vista won big against Campo at the Acalanes tournament earlier this season, but I’m betting the Cougars make more of a game of it this time around.
On Friday, Las Lomas hosts Carondelet in a battle of two top five teams.

East Bay Rankings:

BOYS
1. Miramonte
2. Acalanes
3. SRV
4. Las Lomas
5. De La Salle
6. Campolindo
7. Monte Vista
8. Amador Valley
9. Clayton Valley
10. Foothill

On the bubble: Liberty, Irvington, Alhambra

GIRLS
1. Monte Vista
2. Campolindo
3. Las Lomas
4. Carondelet
5. Acalanes
6. SRV
7. Miramonte
8. Mission San Jose
9. Alhambra
10. Amador Valley

On the bubble: Foothill, Northgate, College Park, Newark Memorial

League Standings:
BOYS
BVAL

Liberty 3-0
Heritage 3-1
Deer Valley 2-1
Antioch 0-3
Freedom 0-3

EBAL
De La Salle 1-0
SRV 1-0
Amador Vly 1-0
California 1-0
Monte Vista 0-1
Foothill 0-1
Granada 0-1
Livermore 0-1

GIRLS
BVAL

Freedom 3-0
Liberty 2-1
Heritage 2-2
Deer Valley 1-2
Antioch 0-3

EBAL
Monte Vista 1-0
SRV 1-0
Amador Vly 1-0
California 1-0
Carondelet 0-1
Foothill 0-1
Granada 0-1
Livermore 0-1

Stephanie Hammon