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PREP WATER POLO PAIRINGS : El Toro's Streak Might End at the Hands of Villa Park


CERRITOS — El Toro, which has won 22 consecutive water polo playoff games, might have a tough time reaching 23. In the most intriguing matchup of the Southern Section Division I playoffs announced Monday, the Chargers play Villa Park Thursday.

El Toro has won the last two Division I titles. The Chargers won Division 3-A titles in 1988, '89 and '90, but missed the playoffs in '91.

Villa Park also has something extra to play for--Coach Jeff Erlich's 400th career victory. Ehrlich is 399-137 in 21 seasons at the school.

Villa Park (20-7) and El Toro (15-11) split two games this season, each winning, 8-5. Villa Park was ranked No. 6 in the final Division I poll and El Toro No. 8. The game will be played at a site to be determined by Villa Park.

Three Orange County teams received top seedings: Corona del Mar (21-4) in Division I, Esperanza (20-6) in Division II and Brea-Olinda (22-4) in Division VI.

Sea View League champion Corona del Mar will play host to Lakewood (9-12), the third-place team from the Moore League, Thursday. Second-seeded San Clemente (24-2) plays host to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (17-8), an at-large team from the Mission League. No. 4 Foothill (20-5) will play host to Mission Viejo (13-13).

In the all-Orange County Division II, Servite (18-9) is seeded second, Costa Mesa (21-5) is seeded third and La Habra (15-4) fourth.

Saddleback (16-6), which will play at La Habra Friday, is making its first playoff appearance since 1980.

Wild-card games in Division II and VI are today and the first round is Friday.

The pairings (games 3:15 p.m. unless noted):

Today (Wild-card round)

Division II--Cypress at Troy; Laguna Beach at Los Alamitos. Division VI -- La Puente at Valencia.

Thursday (First round)

Division I--Canyon at North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake; El Toro at Villa Park; Lakewood at Corona del Mar; Mission Viejo at Foothill; Newport Harbor at L.A. Loyola; Sherman Oaks Notre Dame at San Clemente; Trabuco Hills at Long Beach Poly.

Friday (First round)

Division II--Buena Park at Marina; Cypress-Troy winner at Servite; Garden Grove at Esperanza; Katella at Tustin, noon; Laguna Beach-Los Alamitos winner at El Dorado Pacifica at Costa Mesa; Saddleback at La Habra; University at Los Amigos.

Division VI--Claremont Webb at Brea-Olinda; Valencia-La Puente winner at Hacienda Heights Wilson.

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