PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kristen Jensen, Los Osos, Senior
After five consecutive trips to the CIF finals, it’s safe to say Los Osos has a good girls water polo program. Though the school has only been around for eight seasons, in that short period there have obviously been some accomplished girls water polo players to come through the program. Besides leading the team to its second ever CIF championship, Kristen Jensen’s senior season is best defined by breaking the school’s single-season scoring record by a mind-blowing 58 goals. Jensen (pictured above) scored 174 goals this season and helped the Grizzlies end a three-year losing streak in the CIF finals. “We’ve never had a player this dominant come through our program,” Los Osos coach Dave Merryman said.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Eric Cypher and Dave Merryman, Los Osos
The co-head coaches have led Los Osos to five consecutive appearances in the CIF finals. After losing the last three, they helped the Grizzlies capture CIF-SS Division 3 championship, the program’s first title since 2009. Los Osos finished the regular season by claiming its eighth straight Baseline League title.
The math almost doesn’t add up. The Los Osos girls water polo program has only been in existence for eight years. Yet it has been six years since the team failed to make an appearance in a CIF-SS championship game.
The Grizzlies, seeded second in Division 3, will play in their fifth straight title game Saturday at 11:40 a.m. when they take on No. 4 seed Palos Verdes at their home away from home, the William Woolett Aquatics Center in Irvine. Of course there is one small detail. Los Osos won the 2009 CIF championship in its first finals appearance but it hasn’t won one since.
“The last three have left a sour taste in our mouth,” Los Osos coach Eric Cypher said. “We’re definitely looking for that next one. But I’m proud of the girls for getting to this game again. No matter the result, we’re playing good water polo in this program.”
Wild Card A at No. 1 Santa Barbara
Villa Park at Irvine
Dos Pueblos at Laguna Beach
Winner Wild B at No. 4 Newport Harbor
Wild Card C at No. 3 Corona del Mar
Costa Mesa at Los Alamitos
Edison at San Marcos
Beckman at No. 2 Foothill
1. Corona del Mar; 2. Foothill; 3. Newport Harbor; 4. Los Alamitos; 5. Santa Barbara; 6. Laguna Beach; 7. Dos Pueblos; 8. Edison; 9. San Marcos; 10. Huntington Beach. Others: Irvine, Villa Park
1. El Toro; 2. Santa Margarita; 3. Montebello; 4. Corona Santiago; 5. Agoura; 6. Murrieta Valley; 7. Mater Dei; 8. San Clemente; 9. Long Beach Wilson; 10. King. Others: Rosary.
1. Harvard Westlake; 2. Palos Verdes; 3. Los Osos; 4. Mira Costa; 5. Arroyo Grande; 6. Upland; 7. St Lucy’s; 8. Ayala; 9. Peninsula; 10. Righetti. Others: Louisville, Paso Robles.