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Water Polo

Dons Scambling to Fix Pool Heaters Before TOC

Girls water polo was on the schedule at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon, but Santa Barbara High coach Mark Walsh couldn’t make it to pump this weekend’s Tournament of Champions.

Walsh was busy trying to get the pool heaters at the high school working and making contingency plans in case they don’t before tournament action heats up on Thursday with play-in games.

“The guy is hosting the most competitive water polo tournament in the country and the heater has been out for a week now, so he’s making all these contingency plans,” San Marcos coach Chuckie Roth said. “One heater is going and the pool is covered, so we’re hoping for the best.”

Walsh said in an email that the heaters have been out for two weeks. One was fixed Monday and he hopes to have the other one repaired by Tuesday.

"(The water) needs to get from 60 to 80 (degrees)," he said. "I'm hopeful it will be ready by Thursday. I have contingency schedules just in case."

The tournament features 24 CIF-ranked teams, including Division 1 top-ranked and defending CIF champion Laguna Beach, the entire top 10 of the Division 1 poll and five of the top 10 teams in Division 2.  Undefeated San Marcos is the No. 2 seed, Foothill is third and Orange Lutheran fourth. Dos Pueblos is placed in Group C with Foothill while the host Dons are in Group A with Laguna Beach.

Tournament matches are slated at all three local schools.

Eight play-in matches are scheduled Thursday at Santa Barbara and DP, with the winners filling out the four groups of four teams. The losers will play in a round-robin competition over the weekend at San Marcos. The group play games are at Santa Barbara and DP.

San Marcos opens tournament play Friday at 12:30 p.m. at DP against the winner of Thursday’s play-in game between Santiago and Los Alamitos. The Dons are schedule to open at their pool at 1:30 p.m. against either Santa Margarita or Los Osos. Dos Pueblos is home against Newport Harbor or Rosary at 2:30 on Friday.

The semifinals are scheduled at Santa Barbara at 11:10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Saturday. The championship game is at 4:35 p.m.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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