Ranked within the top four of the CIF Southern Section Division III rankings for the entire season, the La Cañada High boys’ water polo team toppled from its spot at fourth all the way to seventh upon the release of playoff pairings on Sunday morning.
The Spartans will open up play on Wednesday by hosting Redondo in the first round, while Flintridge Prep, in Division V, will make a somewhat familiar trek to play Riverside Poly.
La Cañada (20-9) swam to another undefeated Rio Hondo League championship, but concluded its regular season on Thursday with an 11-8 loss to sixth-ranked Palos Verdes, causing the Spartans’ fall.
The Spartans will host a Redondo team that is 18-7 and took third in the Bay League behind top-seeded Mira Costa and Palos Verdes. If La Cañada moves on, it would face second-seeded Corona Santiago or Mark Keppel, the No. 3 team out of the Almont League.
Prep (13-11), having tied for second in the Prep League, faces a Riverside Poly squad that won the Inland Valley League and owns a 17-11 record.
Flintridge Prep lost to Riverside Poly in the Division V quarterfinals last season. If the Rebels notch a win Wednesday, they’ll return to the quarterfinals to face off with second-seeded Los Altos or a wild card entrant.
All first-round matchups are set for 5 p.m. unless both teams agree on a change.