Mesa League champion Otay Ranch and South Bay League champion Mar Vista were among 36 teams selected to participate in this year’s San Diego Section divisional girls water polo playoffs.
Pairings were announced Monday at the San Diego Section office located in the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum in Balboa Park.
Mar Vista (20-6 overall, 10-0 in league play) received the No. 6 seed in the Division III field and will test the waters against 11th-seeded Santana (10-12, 5-3 in Grossmont Valley League play) in Wednesday’s opening round. Game time is 6 p.m. at Granite Hills High School.
Otay Ranch (18-5 overall, 7-1 in league play) received the No. 7 seed in the Division I playoffs and will face 10th-seeded Fallbrook (13-15 overall, 3-2 in Avocado West League play) in Thursday’s opening round. Game time is 5:30 p.m. at El Capitan High School.
Both Mar Vista and Otay Ranch earned automatic playoff bids as league champions and both will host opening-round playoff matches.
The league title is the fifth consecutive for the Mustangs.
Twelve teams in each division qualified for post-season competition. The top four-seeded teams receive byes in the first round, with winners from the bottom eight teams advancing to meet the top four-seeded teams in the quarterfinals.
Both the Division II and Division III playoffs open on Wednesday, followed by the Division I playoffs on Thursday.
Quarterfinal-round games are scheduled Friday (Division II) and Saturday (Division I and Division III) at La Jolla High School.
Semifinal-round games are scheduled Feb. 25 (Division II), Feb. 26 (Division III) and Feb. 27 (Division I), also at LJHS.
A championship-round triple-header is scheduled March 1 at LJHS, starting at 2:30 p.m. (Division II) and continuing with contests at 5 p.m. (Division III) and 7:30 p.m. (Division I).
The top four-seeded teams in Division I include No. 1 Carlsbad (22-3), No. 2 Vista (15-10), No. 3 Granite Hills (16-5) and No. 4 (Helix (17-9).
The top four-seeded teams in Division II include No. 1 Valhalla (25-4), No. 2. Rancho Bernardo (22-6), No. 3 Westview (19-11) and No. 4 Ramona (18-9).
The top four-seeded teams in Division III include No. 1 Bishop’s (22-6), No. 2 La Jolla (21-5), No. 3 Coronado (15-12) and No. 4 Cathedral Catholic (14-14).
The Mar Vista-Santana winner will advance to meet No. 3 Coronado in Saturday’s quarterfinals while the Otay Ranch-Fallbrook winner will advance to meet No. 2 Vista, also in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
Seedings for the three divisional tournaments are as follows:
1. Carlsbad (22-3, 8-0 in Avocado West League)
2. Vista (15-10, Avocado West League)
3. Granite Hills (16-5, 6-4 in Grossmont Hills League)
4. Helix (17-9, 4-6 in Grossmont Hills League)
5. Torrey Pines (11-12, 3-4 in Palomar League)
6. Mission Hills (18-8, 3-0 in Avocado East League)
7. Otay Ranch (18-5, 7-1 in Mesa League)
8. Grossmont (11-18, 1-9 in Grossmont Hills League)
9. Patrick Henry (12-12, 4-4 in City Eastern League)
10. Fallbrook (13-15, 3-2 in Avocado West League)
11. El Camino (16-10, 3-2 in Avocado West League)
12. Rancho Buena Vista (17-12, 2-4 in Avocado West League)
Other first-round pairings include Torrey Pines-RBV, Mission Hills-El Camino and Grossmont-Patrick Henry.
In ensuing quarterfinal match-ups, Carlsbad will play the Grossmont-Patrick Henry winner while Granite Hills will play the Mission Hills-El Camino winner and Helix will play the Torrey Pines-RBV winner.
1. Valhalla Norsemen (25-4, 10-0 in Grossmont Hills League)
2. Rancho Bernardo (22-6, 5-0 in Palomar League)
3. Westview (19-11, 4-1 in Palomar League)
4. Ramona (18-9, 4-0 in Valley League)
5. Steele Canyon (20-9, 8-2 in Grossmont Hills League)
6. Scripps Ranch (12-8, 5-3 in City Eastern League)
7. Mt. Carmel (11-15, 1-4 in Palomar League)
8. Poway (12-11, 2-3 in Palomar League)
9. West Hills (13-16, 1-9 in Grossmont Hills League)
10. La Costa Canyon (7-16, 0-5 in Avocado West League)
11. San Marcos (8-19, 2-2 in Avocado East League)
12. Point Loma (9-20, 1-7 in City Eastern League)
Other first-round pairings include Steele Canyon-Point Loma, Scripps Ranch-San Marcos, Mt. Carmel-LCC and Poway-West Hills.
In ensuing quarterfinal match-ups, Valhalla will play the Poway-West Hills winner, Rancho Bernardo will play the Mt. Carmel-LCC winner, Westview will play the Scripps Ranch-San Marcos winner while Ramona wil play the Steele Canyon-Point Loma winner.
1. Bishop’s (22-6, 4-2 in City Western League)
2. La Jolla (21-5, 4-2 in City Western League)
3. Coronado (15-12, 4-2 in City Western League)
4. Cathedral Catholic (14-14, 0-6 in City Western League)
5. University City (18-7, 8-0 in City Eastern League
6. Mar Vista (20-6, 10-0 in South Bay League)
7. Clairemont (19-6, 6-0 in City Central League)
8. Valley Center (12014, 3-1 in Valley League)
9. Mission Bay (10-9, 4-2 in City Central League)
10. El Capitan (19-9, 8-0 in Grossmont Valley League)
11. Santana (10-12, 5-3 in Grossmont Valley League)
12. Monte Vista (10-17, 5-3 in Grossmont Valley League)
Other first-round match-ups include University City-Monte Vista, Clairemont-El Capitan and Valley Center-Mission Bay.
In ensuing quarterfinal match-ups, Bishop’s will host the Valley Center-Mission Bay winner. La Jolla will host the Clairemont-El Capitan winner and Cathedral Catholic will host the University City-Monte Vista winner.
Bonita Vista (16-7) and Eastlake (10-16) both just missed the playoff cut-off in Division I. The Barons finished runner-up to Otay Ranch in the Mesa League standings at 6-2 with a pair of wins against Eastlake (5-3 in league play, third place).
San Ysidro (9-10 overall, 8-2 in South Bay League) also applied for an at-large Division I payoff berth but missed the cut.
Mater Dei Catholic (3-14 overall, 2-6 in Mesa League) applied for an at-large Division III playoff berth but missed the cut.
Otay Ranch closed out regular season play with a 5-3 loss to Eastlake on Feb. 12 and a 12-2 win over Mater Dei Catholic on Feb. 13.
Mar Vista closed out regular season play with a 12-6 non-league loss to visiting University City on Feb. 12 and a 15-3 victory against league rival Southwest on Feb. 13.
Both the Mustangs and Mariners will face teams in their playoff openers which they defeated during regular season play. Otay Ranch edged Fallbrook, 6-5, in a Winter Classic tournament game on Dec. 20 while Mar Vista sprinted past Santana, 12-7, in a non-league game played Jan. 16 in East County.
In their lone match-up this season, the Mustangs slipped past the Mariners, 6-5, in the semifinals of the East County Invitational on Jan. 25.
ORHS coach Ernie Medina said the No. 7 seeding matches the team's highest in previous seasons. The last time the Mustangs were seeded seventh was 2008 when they scored a 7-4 victory against Fallbrook to advance to play Carlsbad.
However, this season Otay Ranch will enter post-season play without top shooter Katie Sutterfield due to a late season injury. In order to compensate for that loss, Medina said the team will lean on its defense.
Goalie Emma Cornwell four goals per game on average and has scored nine goals from the cage. Medina called the latter feat "unheard of" and is a new school record. Cornwell also has 26 steals and has blocked eight five-meter penaltyshots this season (another new school record). Medina noted that Cornwell has 576 goalie saves in her two-year, yet another new school record.
For updated brackets, visit the website at www.cifsds.org.