Ava Stryker
Ava Stryker of San Marcos will be playing for the U.S. Junior National Team at the Pan Am Championships in Indianapolis. (Noozhawk file photo)

San Marcos was selected as one of the elite eight teams to play in the CIF-Southern Section girls water polo Open Division playoffs on Monday.

The Channel League champions (14-7) were seeded seventh and will travel to play No. 2  and defending champion Laguna Beach (23-5) on Thursday.

Santa Barbara High and Dos Pueblos, the second- and third-place finishers in the Channel League are on the road for their first-round playoff games in Division 1 on Wednesday. The Dons (15-13) play at Huntington Beach (13-10, Wave League co-champion), while the Chargers (13-13) travel to San Clemente (16-5, South Coast No. 1).

In an all-county matchup, Santa Ynez (Channel at-large) plays at Citrus Coast League champion Carpinteria (16-5) in a first -round game in Division 4 on Tuesday at the Carpinteria Community Pool.

This will be the third meeting between the two schools. Santa Ynez won the previous games by one goal.

San Marcos will be playing Laguna Beach for the fourth time this season. The Royals nearly beat the Breakers in their last meeting, falling 11-10 at the Newport Invitational at the end of January. A week earlier, the Breakers won 11-3, and they beat San Marcos, 14-8, to open the season on Dec. 3.

Newport Harbor is the top seed in the Open Division followed by Laguna Beach, Orange Lutheran, Los Alamitos, Foothill, Mater Dei, San Marcos and Santa Margarita.

The Open Division semifinal games will be played on Wednesday, Feb. 16 and the championship on Saturday, Feb. 20 at Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine.

Quarterfinal games in the 16-team Division 1 bracket are on Saturday, Feb. 12.

The 32-team Division 4 bracket will play second-round games on Thursday and quarterfinals on Saturday.

The semifinals in both Division 1 and 4 are Feb. 16 at home sites and the finals are on Feb. 19 at the Woollett Center.

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at bpunzal@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.