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POLO PLAYOFF ROUNDUP

Ventura's Start Finishes Rio Mesa

November 11, 2000|JOHN KLIMA

The road to a Southern Section Division IV water polo championship will likely run through Royal High.

Ventura took the first step toward a showdown with the Highlanders, disposing of Rio Mesa, 23-3, Friday in a first-round playoff game at Ventura.

The No. 4-ranked Cougars (21-5) will play Cabrillo, an 11-5 winner over Lompoc, in a quarterfinal game Tuesday at a site to be determined.

No. 1 ranked Royal (25-3) defeated Carpinteria, 14-2, and will play defending Division IV-champion Righetti, a 19-5 winner over Calabasas.

With victories, Ventura and Royal would square off in the semifinals.

Ventura overpowered Rio Mesa with eight goals in the first quarter. Matt Andrews and Teague Savitch each scored three times in the opening period and finished with four goals each.

Adam Payan of Ventura had five goals.

David Miller recorded 14 saves against the Spartans (9-16).

"We know Royal can be in the future," Miller said. "They're in the back of our minds. But we're not going to think about Royal until we're done with Cabrillo."

Ventura beat Cabrillo, 11-10, earlier this season.

"We need to be better prepared," Coach Joe Abing said. "If we don't play a good game, [Cabrillo] will take advantage of that."

Ventura didn't have to worry against overmatched Rio Mesa, which carried eight freshmen. Among the freshmen is goalkeeper Vincent Ferro, who made six saves. Aaron Boshoff and Chad Holladay scored in the first quarter and senior Nick Glaze scored in the fourth.

Ten players scored for Ventura. Derek Doler scored three goals and Logan DeBone scored twice.

"We need to come out with our A-game [against Cabrillo] this time," Miller said. "We know Royal is out there, but we have to go one game at a time."

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