The Huntington Beach High girls' water polo team came from nowhere to place first Saturday at the Rancho Bernardo Invitational in San Diego.
The Oilers went 5-0 to win the title. Coach Brian Anderson said his squad wasn't seeded in the top six at the event but defeated La Costa Canyon (15-3) and West View (15-4) on the opening day of the tournament Dec. 1 and came back Friday to down Sunset League rival Fountain Valley, 13-9.
In the "group-of-three final" Saturday, the Oilers downed Rancho Buena Vista (18-2) and Beckman (10-8) to claim the championship.
Anderson said junior Samantha Preston and senior Ellen Hayami led the way for Huntington. Hayami scored 17 goals in five games, including six against Beckman in the Oilers' final game. Preston had 16 goals and senior Jessica Williams came up with 18 steals in the tournament.
"I was really happy with the defensive effort our girls put in the pool over the entire course of the weekend," Anderson said. "We have not been working on many tactical situations but rather have put a strong emphasis on lane pressing, two-meter defense and an upstart and aggressive counter attack that starts with anticipation. I think when we start putting in some more work into front-court offense, the defense and counter attack will transition nicely into our gameplan."
Huntington starts play Thursday at the Villa Park Tournament, which runs through Saturday.
Edison opened up its season Nov. 30 and rolled past Long Beach Wilson, 15-6. Alys Williams scored five goals and Melissa Balding and Jessica Becker each scored three as the Chargers opened up a 4-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and took an 11-3 advantage into the fourth. Goalie Sydni Estrella had seven saves.
On Saturday, the Chargers defeated Rosary, 12-7, at the Huntington Beach High pool. They held an 8-2 lead after three quarters, but the Royals pulled to within 8-7. The Chargers then ran off a 4-0 scoring run to end the game.
"Beating both Wilson and Rosary was a nice start for the girls," Edison Coach Diggy Riley said. "We have been training exceptionally hard, which should benefit us in the end. In both wins, our weaknesses surfaced and we are going to focus on improving on these areas as we near league next month."
Edison began play Monday at the Aliso Cup and scored a 1-0 shutout of Buena. Ricci Cooper scored off an assist from Angelisa Cortez and Alison Jahansouz and Natalie McNeely combined for three saves.
The Chargers began their 2011-12 season Dec. 1 and scored a 2-0 victory over Long Beach Poly. Cortez and MacKenzie Cerda scored goals.
"Our defense did a stellar job of keeping them out of dangerous areas," said Kerry Crooks, who is in her 20th year as head coach of the Chargers.
Edison (3-0) takes on Orange Lutheran on Thursday in Aliso Cup action.
Fountain Valley posted two shutout victories this week. First, the Barons presented first-year Coach Scott Goldman with his first win, a 5-0 blanking of Cabrillo of Long Beach on Dec. 1. Kaitlyn Clark, Addie Espinoza, Dakota Griggs, Kiana Dinsmore and Shelle Zito scored goals. All of the Barons' scoring came in the first half.
On Tuesday, Fountain Valley edged Godinez, 1-0, behind a first-half goal by Griggs.
Ocean View roared out of the starting gate by picking up five victories in a seven-day period.
The Seahawks debuted Nov. 29 and defeated Los Amigo, 3-2. Senior Melissa Cooley scored twice, freshman Casey Dooley once and senior Kelley Dooley and freshman Jade Kratovil each had an assist. Freshman goalie Malia Hayes registered 15 saves.
The Seahawks went on to shutout Magnolia, 3-0, on Dec. 1 Freshman Sam Romo scored twice and Cooley once. Sophomore Joelle Sapia had a pair of assists and junior Danny Dapello had one assist. Senior Leslie Gonzalez had four saves.
Ocean View also won its first two game at the Ocean View Winter Classic. Last Friday, it blanked Godinez, 2-0, behind a goal and assist from Kratovil, a goal by Kelly Dooley and six saves by Hayes. On Saturday, it beat Connelly, 4-1. Cooley and senior Aleanna Vargas both scored once with an assist and Dapello and junior Yoatzy Fuentes each had a goal. Romo and junior Taylor Williamson each had an assist.
On Tuesday, Ocean View blasted visiting Bolsa Grande, 7-0. Dapello led the charge with three goals, Vargas had two goals and two assists, Kratovil and Kelley Dooley both scored once and Romo and senior Annie Putman each had an assist and