After days of scrambling to sort things out, the schedule is set for the Santa Barbara girls water polo Tournament of Champions, Thursday through Saturday.
With the Santa Barbara High pool out of commission due to a broken heater, and no back-up pools available in town, Dons head coach Mark Walsh had to revise the tournament schedule and move some games out of town. Several opening-round games on Thursday will be played at Oaks Christian in Westlake Village. The Elings Aquatic Center at Dos Pueblos is also hosting Thursday games.
The remainder of the tournament games on Friday and Saturday will be played at Dos Pueblos and San Marcos. The games will start earlier than usual.
The tournament annually draws college coaches from all over the country to see the plethora of water polo talent in Southern California.
Laguna Beach, San Marcos, Newport Harbor and The Bishop’s of La Jolla are the top four seeds in the 21-team event that features several of the best prep girls water polo teams in the state.
Laguna Beach is the top-ranked team in Division 1 of the CIF-Southern Section and is the defending division champion. San Marcos, which has lost twice against the Breakers this season, is ranked second.
In opening-round games involving local teams, Dos Pueblos hosts Long Beach Wilson on Thursday at 3 p.m., followed by Santa Barbara against Schurr at 4 p.m.
If Dos Pueblos wins, it would play again at 5 p.m. against Laguna Beach. If Santa Barbara prevails in its opener, it would play Newport Harbor at 7 p.m. at DP.
San Marcos opens play on Friday at 10:30 a.m. at DP against the winner of San Clemente vs. Oaks Christian. If the Royals win, they would return to the pool at 3:30 p.m. to face the Santa Margarita-Corona del Mar winner.
The games on Friday at DP will continue through 7:30 p.m. Consolation round games will be played at the San Marcos pool from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the action starts at 8 a.m. at both pools. The championship semifinals are at 11 a.m. and noon at DP and the final is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The groups for the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions:
A: Laguna Beach, Carlsbad, Los Alamitos, Dos Pueblos, Long Beach Wilson
B: San Marcos, Santa Margarita, Corona del Mar, San Clemente, Oaks Christian
C: Newport Harbor, Orange Lutheran, Agoura, Santa Barbara, Schurr
D: The Bishop’s, Santa Ana-Foothill, Mater Dei, Redondo Union, Harvard Westlake, Murietta Valley