PaliHi Girls Water Polo Places 2nd in City

The Palisades High School water polo team, which had breezed through the city tournament bracket, suffered an 8-1 loss in the championship match against Eagle Rock on February 18.

The top-seeded Dolphins had earlier beat West Adams, 17-8, and Granada Hills, 15-10, to advance.

Leighanne Estbrooke looks for a pass. Photo: Peggy Saab
Leighanne Estbrooke looks for a pass.
Photo: Peggy Saab

Pali scored first when senior and co-captain Jackie Au made a penalty shot with 5:50 left in the first quarter. But, that would be the team’s only score as Eagle Rock goalie, senior Jahmea Bent, blocked 17 shots.

“She was an amazing goalie and made some amazing stops,” said Au, who had two shots rejected in the first quarter. “But we didn’t have great shots, we just didn’t play Pali polo.”

Coach Kirk Lazaruk said he thought the Dolphins made good shots, but “Bent is the number-one goalie in the league and she was on her game. She was the differential in this game.”

Au praised Pali goalie Chloe Berrisford. “I’m proud of Chloe for getting in the goal. She played well.”

Au said that Eagle Rock plays in a tougher division and that Pali might be better served by playing in a tougher league than winning every game by double digits. “I am incredibly proud of how everyone played, and Yasmin [the co-captain],” Au said.

Eagle Rock’s Alena Sanchez, a senior, scored three goals in the first quarter, two in the second and one in the second half to power her team’s offense.

“The season was a success,” said Lazruk, who will be losing eight seniors but who started a JV team this year to nurture younger talent. “Three of our seven starters were underclassman. We’ll have a younger team next year.”

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