Seven Metro Conference girls water polo teams filed applications for entry into this year’s San Diego Section divisional playoffs – four of those teams were seeded by the playoff committee on Monday.
Otay Ranch earned the No. 11 seed in the Division I bracket while Hilltop was seeded ninth and Bonita Vista was seeded 11th in the Division II field and Mar Vista was seeded ninth in the Division III bracket.
Otay Ranch, Hilltop and Eastlake tied for this year’s Mesa League championship but Otay Ranch won the tiebreaker on head-to-head goal-differential to earn the league’s designated CIF entry berth. Mar Vista won the South Bay League championship to gain automatic entry.
Hilltop and Bonita Vista (fourth in the Mesa League standings) both earned at-large playoff berths.
Eastlake, Mater Dei Catholic and Castle Park all petitioned for at-large berths but failed to make the playoff cut.
A total of 17 teams petitioned for the 12 available berths in the Division I playoff field.
Eastlake, which defeated Otay Ranch twice in three meetings this season, finished 13th in balloting for 12 positions in the Division I field. Mission Hills earned the No. 12 seed based on its automatic entry as the Avocado East League champion, leaving Grossmont, Eastlake, Rancho Buena Vista and Fallbrook vying for the final at-large berth.
Grossmont defeated Eastlake during the season (12-8 on Dec. 13) while Eastlake defeated RBV and RBV finished ahead of Fallbrook in the league standings, thus giving the final berth to Grossmont.
Grossmont was seeded 10th ahead of Otay Ranch (11th), based on head-to-head meeting.
Eastlake finished 16-12 in regular season play, 6-2 in Mesa League play.
Carlsbad was the unanimous No. 1 seed with a 19-8 record. Torrey Pines (22-6) earned the No. 2 seed, followed by No. 3 Vista (19-12), No. 4 Patrick Henry (19-6), No. 5 Granite Hills (19-11), No. 6 Westview (26-7), No. 7 El Camino (16-12), No. 8 Helix (14-15) and No. 9 Scripps Ranch (13-16).
The Division I field is very competitive. Otay has one victory in three meetings against Helix this season and has played several other higher-seeded teams to narrow losses.
Otay (17-9), which defeated Eastlake by a score of 4-1 in the regular season finale for both teams, will host Westview in Wednesday’s first round.
The Division I quarterfinals are scheduled Saturday, Feb. 16, and the semifinals follow on Feb. 20, both at La Jolla High School.
Division I seeds include:
(1) Carlsbad (19-8)
(2) Torrey Pines (22-6)
(3) Vista (19-12)
(4) Patrick Henry (19-6)
(5) Granite Hills (19-11)
(6) Westview (26-7)
(7) El Camino (16-12)
(8) Helix (14-15)
(9) Scripps Ranch (13-16)
(10) Grossmont (15-14)
(11) Otay Ranch (17-9)
(12) MIssion Hills (18-11)
The Division II seeding went faster as 13 teams sent in applications for the 12 spots. Point Loma was eliminated based on head-to-head results with other teams, leaving the following order:
(1) Valhalla (21-8)
(2) Ramona (19-9)
(3) Steele Canyon (19-9)
(4) Mt. Carmel (12-14)
(5) Rancho Bernardo (14-12)
(6) University City (16-10)
(7) La Costa Canyon (11-13)
(8) West Hills (12-17)
(9) Hilltop (16-11)
(10) Oceanside (17-13)
(11) Bonita Vista (12-15)
(12) Serra (7-18)
In head-to-head match-ups, Hilltop defeated Oceanside, Hilltop and Oceanside both defeated Bonita Vista while Bonita Vista defeated Serra.
Hilltop will host West Hills in a first-round game on Thursday, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals at LJHS.
Bonita Vista will play at the home pool of University City, also in Thursday’s opening round.
Valhalla (Grossmont Hills League champion) and Ramona (Valley League champion), the division’s top two-seeded teams, split two one-goal meetings this season.
Canyon Crest Academy, which defeated Bonita Vista this season, did not apply for the playoffs. Had the Ravens followed through with an application, they would likely have bumped Serra for a playoff spot.
In Division III, 14 teams applied for 12 playoff berths. Mater Dei Catholic and Castle Park were eliminated after consideration, leaving 12 teams to be seeded. The final order was as follows:
(1) Bishop’s (24-4)
(2) La Jolla (21-8)
(3) Coronado (11-16)
(4) Cathedral Catholic (13-14)
(5) Valley Center (15-12)
(6) El Capitan (19-10)
(7) Mission Bay (15-9)
(8) Santana (11-9)
(9) Mar Vista (20-6)
(10) Del Norte (7-15)
(11) Clairemont (12-16)
(12) La Jolla Country Day (5-19)
Mar Vista and LJCD split two games while Mar Vista also defeated Del Norte. Del Norte and Clairemont both defeated Del LJCD.
Mar Vista will host Santana in a first-round game on Wednesday. The winner advances to Friday’s quarterfinals at LJHS.
The three divisional championship games are scheduled Feb. 23 at LJHS. The Division III game is scheduled at 2:30 p.m., followed by the Division II title game at 5 p.m. and the Division I championship tilt at 7:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.cifsds.org.
San Diego Section League Champions
(Automatic Playoff Entry List)
Carlsbad - Avocado West League/North County
Torrey Pines - Palomar League/North County
Mission Hills - Avocado East League/North County
Patrick Henry - City Eastern League
Valhalla - Grossmont Hills League
Ramona - Valley League/North County
El Capitan - Grossmont Valley League
Mar Vista - South Bay League
Mission Bay - City Central League
Bishiop's - City Western League