New CIF Water Polo Tourney format nets Falcons #1 seed

Hands up! Torrey Pines senior Krista Decima provides the first line of defense. Junior goalie Hayley Pogue has the shot block in sight.

It’s a new look for the CIF San Diego Section girls’ water polo tournament, but it’s a familiar position for the Torrey Pines Falcons.

Torrey Pines is the top seed of 12 teams in the newly revamped Division 1 bracket.

With a regular season record of 19-9, the Falcons narrowly lost out on the opportunity to compete in the newly formed Open Division, which features the top eight teams in the county based on a complicated power-ranking formula. Before this year, Division 1 was the top bracket, and in recent years, Torrey Pines has been the top seed.

Head Coach Tim Reed is downplaying his team’s seeding. He said, “We prepare and approach each game the same, regardless of anyone’s seed. Every team in the tournament has a legitimate chance of winning.”

Junior goalie Hayley Pogue and sophomore Tashi Rosenthal play tight defense for the CIF Division 1 top-seeded Torrey Pines Falcons.

The Falcons get a first-round bye and will begin their quest for the CIF championship at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 at La Jolla High School. Torrey Pines will play the winner of a game between eighth-seeded Steele Canyon versus ninth-seeded El Capitan.

Torrey Pines averaged more than eight goals a game this year. Leading the offense are junior Anais Mathes (82 goals) and sophomore Tashi Rosenthal (56 goals), who combined for 60 percent of the Falcons’ scoring.

Setting the table for Mathes and Rosenthal are freshman Genevieve Petrassi with 31 assists and senior Shaine Sorensen with 26 assists.

The Falcons also play a relentless defense with seniors Mackenzie Myrum and Krista Decima, along with junior Kristi Spiker, providing a shield of raised arms in front of junior goalie Hayley Pogue.

Pogue registered 211 saves this season with a low goals-against-average per game of 5.5 in addition to 31 steals and 18 assists.

The second-year varsity starter believes she and her teammates are in the right frame of mind to win a championship. “We’ve been tested this season with a couple of overtime victories,” Pogue said. “We thrive under pressure and the CIF tournament will be pressure-packed.”

Pogue proudly wears No. 1 for the Falcons. It’s a number that the entire team will embrace should they win three CIF tournament games.


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