Santa Barbara brings in the best for water polo TOC

This weekend’s Santa Barbara’s Tournament of Champions is a CIF girls water polo bonanza. The entire Southern Section Division 1 top 10 is entered, along with the top four teams in Division 2, the top two in Division 4 and a perennial powerhouse program from San Diego.

Laguna Beach, Foothill, Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar are the top four seeds in the field of 21. Laguna Beach, the defending CIF-champion, is led by MacKenzie Fischer, a lethal goal scorer who helped the USA Water Polo youth team win a world championship over the summer.

Los Alamitos is the No. 5 team in Division 1 followed by San Marcos, Orange Lutheran, Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbara and Santa Margarita. From Division 2, San Clemente, Murrieta Valley, Agoura and El Toro are the top four teams in the latest rankings. Riverside Poly and Royal are Nos. 1-2 in the Division 4 poll. From the San Diego Section is Cathedral Catholic.

The tournament begins with five play-in games on Thursday at Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos. Santa Barbara takes on Vista Murrieta at 4 p.m., with the winner advancing to the main draw of 16 teams.

San Marcos opens Friday at 1:30 against Santa Margarita in a Group A match at Santa Barbara High. Dos Pueblos is home against Los Alamitos at 12:30 in Group B.

The semifinals and final will be played at Dos Pueblos on Saturday. The semifinals are slated at 11:10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., and the championship at 4:35 p.m.

1 Laguna Beach
2 Foothill
3 Newport Harbor
4 Corona del Mar
5 Los Alamitos
6 San Marcos
7 Orange Lutheran
8 Dos Pueblos
9 Santa Barbara
10 Santa Margarita
Others: Mater Dei, Villa Park