NCS WATER POLO PLAYOFF GLANCE
The Usual Suspects The 2010 North Coast Section water polo playoffs should feature the old and new. The old reliable powers — Miramonte boys and Monte Vista girls — are overwhelming favorites to maintain strangleholds on the sport and win their sixth and ﬁfth straight titles, respectively. What’s new, however, is a tournament divided. Both the boys and girls will feature a Division I and Division II tournament. Brackets will be set on Oct. 31 with ﬁrstround action beginning Nov. 3. Here are the top ﬁve Contra Costa County/Tri-Valley picks in each gender to claim NCS titles.
outscored ﬁve foes 53-13 to win the Western States tournament in Modesto. Junior goalie Rachel Mitchell is superb. ■ San Ramon Valley: If anyone can muster enough energy to shock the Mustangs, it’s their cross-town rival. The four-time section champs are led offensively by Danielle Ferraro. Other possibilities: Amador Valley, Foothill, Clayton Valley. DiVision ii ■ Campolindo: Led by fantastic goalie Gracie Fowler and strong ﬁeld players Kimi Klein and
Emily McPhee, the Cougars should be the favorite here. They have a 6-5 win over Las Lomas. ■ Las Lomas: A Western States tournament ﬁnalist, don’t be surprised if the Knights and Campolindo play for the title. Las Lomas is led by Erin Donohue and Danielle Johnson. ■ Acalanes: With six returning starters from last year’s NCS quarterﬁnal squad, the Dons could surprise their DFAL rivals. Barbara Lanier is a star. Other possibilities: Carondelet, Alhambra, Northgate. — Mitch Stephens
DiVision i ■ miramonte: Who else? The Matadors have won ﬁve straight and 11 of the 15 NCS crowns since the tournament started in 1995. With Aleck Ryner in goal and utility man Joey Fabian leading a strong ﬁeld squad, James Lathrop’s squad should have no trouble capturing a 12th section crown. ■ Acalanes: With wins over Las Lomas, San Ramon Valley and De La Salle, the Jake Kisner-led squad will give the Matadors their toughest test. The Dons actually defeated Miramonte last season in league play so it’s not nearly impossible. ■ San Ramon Valley: The Wolves and De La Salle will battle for the East Bay Athletic League title on Oct. 30 and the winner will no doubt move to the No. 3 seed in the tournament. ■ De La Salle: Led by Thomas Nelson, the only other boys team to ever win an NCS title besides Miramonte has a strong shot to reach the semiﬁnals. Other possibilities: Monte Vista, Foothill, Amador Valley, Clayton Valley, Liberty. DiVision ii ■ Las Lomas: Led by arguably the section’s top player, Bryan Snyder, the Knights are a huge threat and likely the top seed. Snyder is the program’s all-time leading scorer, having broken the record during his junior season. Other possibilities: Campolindo, Alhambra.
GIRLS DiVision i ■ Monte Vista: Sorry gang, this is a foregone conclusion. Led by probably the nation’s top high school player, national team member Maggie Steffens, the Mustangs haven’t had a close local game all season. They opened the season with 19 straight wins, and 20
October 28, 2010
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