Miraleste missed the Southern Section water polo playoffs last year because of an ineligible player. Wednesday, the team started making up for lost time.
Led by Steve Barber's nine goals, the Marauders opened the 2-A playoffs with a 22-9 win over visiting Trabuco Hills.
Coach Chick McIlroy said his players, most of whom were on last year's team, were anxious to prove themselves.
"They're hungry," McIlroy said. "They know it's their last chance to do well in the CIF playoffs. This was the best game the team has played all year."
The Marauders (24-3) will face South Pasadena, a 12-10 winner over Valencia, in the second round at South Pasadena. McIlroy said the game will be played either Friday or Saturday.
Barber, a 6-foot-6 driver who is being recruited by UCLA and UC Berkeley, led the Miraleste offense, which scored most of its goals on counter attacks.