The Laguna Beach High boys' water polo team passed its first test of the 2012 season.
The Breakers began their new campaign — one that has them as a member of CIF Southern Section Division 2 this year — Sept. 7 on the road at Villa Park. The opener was a meeting between two teams ranked in the Division 2 preseason poll, and it was the No. 4 Breakers who emerged with a 14-9 victory over the No. 8 Spartans.
Laguna led, 8-5 at the half, and used a 4-0 second-half run to grab control.
Jack Dodson led the Breakers in scoring with four goals. Riley Thomas scored three times and both Caleb Scott and Aki Andersen scored twice. Camron Hauer had five assists and four steals, Dodson, Thomas and Scott each had three assists, and Maxx McCarter had 17 saves.
"I thought it was a typical first game in the sense that there were a lot of mistakes made by both sides," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "That said, I thought we did do a lot of good things. I thought our defense looked really good at times, and I thought our counter-attack looked good all game. It was a good start."
The Breakers departed Thursday for the Santa Barbara area where they were to play five games over three days. They started with a Thursday match against the top-ranked team in Division 2, Agoura, and begin play Friday at the Santa Barbara Tournament. Both Laguna and Agoura are part of the 16-team field.
Laguna is in the B Bracket of the tournament and is No. 3 in a four-team pool that includes Loyola, Miramonte (Northern California), and Dos Pueblos. Loyola is ranked third in Division 1, Miramonte is one of the top-rated teams in Northern California and Dos Pueblos is ranked sixth in Division 2.
The Breakers open against Miramonte at 1 p.m. Friday. They'll also play a second match Friday against either Loyola or Dos Pueblos.
Mater Dei, the No. 1-ranked team in Division 1, is the overall No. 1-seed for the tournament.
"It's a great tournament," Damato said. "There are 16 very good teams in it, from Orange County, to San Diego, and L.A. to Northern California. We will play four really good games at the tournament, no matter what. At the same time, it's fun to be able to play against teams of this caliber. We'll be tested all weekend."
Following the trip north, the Breakers head back into tournament play when they compete at the South Coast-Newport Harbor Varsity Tournament, starting Thursday. The tournament runs through Sept. 22.
The Breakers, the top-ranked team in CIF Division 1-A, dropped their first match of the season when they were edged Thursday, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22, by Newport Harbor. The Sailors (2-1) are ranked No. 4 in Division 1-AA.
Laguna (3-1) led the first set but Newport closed with a 5-0 run to win the set. Alyse Ford had 17 kills and seven digs, Julia Goggin nine digs and Sevana Dvorak 26 assists for the Breakers.
On Saturday, Laguna scored a 25-23, 25-20, 25-21 sweep of visiting Santiago of Corona. Ford had 27 kills and 11 digs, Francie Holte nine digs and Dvorak 38 assists.
The Breakers are idle until Tuesday when they visit rival Corona del Mar for a 6:45 p.m. nonleague match. The Sea Kings are ranked No. 8 in Division 1-AA.
The Breakers took on Aliso Niguel on Tuesday at Aliso Viejo Country Club (par 35) and fell, 200-275, to the Wolverines. Laguna's top scorer was captain Jackie McMahon, who turned in one of her lowest scores, a 45. Joo Seo of Aliso Niguel was the medalist for the match with a one over par 36.