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Harvard-Westlake Eases Off Before Turning It Back On

October 08, 1998|PETER YOON

The Southern California Invitational tournament this weekend at Heritage Park in Irvine is serious business.

Sixteen of the top teams in the state will be there, including six of the top eight teams in the Southern Section Division I poll.

But real evidence of how serious this is can be found in the Harvard-Westlake workout schedule leading up to the tournament.

"We're going to take a morning off," Wolverine Coach Rich Corso said. "Technically, we look pretty good but we've got to have a little spring to our step down there."

Corso normally holds intense weight training and power-play practices every morning before classes.

With arguably the top water polo tournament in the nation approaching, the Wolverines, No. 2 in Division I, are focused on making a good showing, especially against top-ranked Long Beach Wilson.

"I think Wilson is looking to plow its way through the tournament," Corso said. "We're looking to maintain our No. 2 ranking and set it up for the playoffs."

Also entered in the tournament are No. 3 Newport Harbor, No. 4 Foothill, No. 6 San Clemente and No. 8 Corona del Mar.

Los Alamitos, ranked No. 2 in Division II, is entered as are top Northern California teams San Jose Bellarmine Prep and Orinda Miramonte.

The Wolverines open with Irvine High and would not meet Wilson until the tournament final.

Harvard-Westlake (9-0) has hardly been tested thus far, winning by 10 or more goals seven times. The Wolverines met Wilson in a preseason scrimmage, but score was not kept.

"They were a better team at that time," Corso said. "But we want to see them three times before the playoffs. I can show them on film and talk about them all until I'm blue in the face but it's not the same as getting out there and competing against them."

*

Filling the shoes of graduated two-time All-Southern Section Division IV goalie Garrett Herzer was not an easy task for Royal Coach Steve Snyder, but he found the answer in an unlikely place.

Tom Onyshko is the first sophomore to start in goal for Royal since the early 1980s. He has been impressive in leading the Highlanders to a 10-6 start.

"It was a real question mark how we were going to replace Garrett," Snyder said. "But [Tom] is a remarkable athlete."

*

It's been quite a week for streaks and rivalries, and it's only getting better.

Next week, Ventura meets Channel League and cross-town rival Buena, which it has not beaten in league play since 1991. With Ventura the top-ranked team in Southern Section Division IV and Buena ranked seventh, look for the streak to end.

Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park always have had a good rivalry, but it gets an added boost when the teams play Oct. 16.

Panther Coach Jeff Warshaw was an assistant for the last three years at Thousand Oaks.

"Both teams are fired up about it," Warshaw said.

Last Wednesday, Glendale ended Crescenta Valley's 38-game Pacific League winning streak, and Wednesday, Agoura ended Royal's 31-game Marmonte League streak.

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