GWP: Tournament of Champions loaded with talent

How talent-loaded is this weekend?s girls water polo Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions?

Let?s count the ways.

The 16-team, two-day event, which begins Friday at Santa Barbara High and the Elings Aquatic Center at Dos Pueblos, features:


?The top seven ranked teams in CIF Division 1, led by No. 1 Foothill. Santa Barbara, Newport Harbor, Corona del Mar, Los Alamitos, Laguna Beach and Dos Pueblos follow.

?The top eight teams in Division 2, led by No. 1 Mater Dei. The Monarchs, coached by former DP star and U.S. Olympian Chris Segesman, are followed by El Toro, Santa Margarita, Montebello, Santiago-Corona, Agoura, Murrieta Valley and San Clemente.

?A Foothill team that has seven seniors who have signed with NCAA Division 1 schools and a sophomore (Cana Manzella) who is on the national youth team.

?A Corona del Mar squad that received a big boost when two members of the national junior team from Greece (sisters Ioanna and Stephania Haralabidis) became eligible on Jan. 1. They?ve signed with USC.

?A Newport Harbor team that has three D-1 signees.

?El Toro, the No. 2 team in CIF Division 2, which has posted two wins over Division 1 No. 5-ranked Los Alamitos and lost by only one goal to Foothill.

?Mater Dei, the Division 2 top-rated team, led by U.S. National Youth team captain and UCLA-bound Makenzie Barr.

?Santa Barbara, ranked second in CIF Division 1, led by UCLA-bound Kelsey O?Brien, Cal signee, goalie Madeline Trabucco and UCSB signee Sophie Trabucco.

?Seventh-ranked Dos Pueblos, led by Stanford-bound Jamie Neushul.

?Five players who will be future UCSB Gauchos: Makenzie Baldridge (Laguna Beach), Nikki Quinn (Los Alamitos), Delaney Riley (El Toro), Taylor Shore (Santiago-Corona), Brenna Thomas (Foothill), Sophie Trabucco (SBHS).

?Four players who signed with UCLA. (SB?s O?Brien, Foothill?s Ashley Zwirner, Newport Harbor?s Elise Schilling and Barr of Mater Dei).

The tournament?s top seeds are Foothill, Los Alamitos Corona del Mar and El Toro.

Tournament action begins at 12:30 p.m. with Santa Barbara hosting Murrieta Valley and Dos Pueblos taking on Los Alamitos at the Elings Pool.

Games will continue every hour through 7:30 p.m. at both pools

Final-day action will take place at Santa Barbara. The semifinals are slated at 11:10 a.m. and 12 p.m., and the championship game is at 4:35.

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