2017 Year in Review: Beach Sports
Redondo water polo teams win first CIF titles
by Randy Angel
The final chapter of the storybook season enjoyed by Redondo’s girl’s water polo was written in February when the second seed held off top-seeded Villa Park, 10-5, to capture the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championship at the William J. Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine.
It was Redondo’s first CIF title in girls water polo and a fitting way for the seniors, who helped Coach Shelby Haroldson build the Sea Hawks into a powerful program, to cap off their prep careers in the pool.
Yet it was a pair of freshmen who led the way to victory.
Julia Janov scored five goals while goalkeeper Katherine Wrightsman anchored a defense, recording 12 saves. Senior Sophie Maguy, Redondo’s leading scorer on the season, added two goals in the win.
“I think the key to our win was our defense, our attitude going into the game and teamwork,” Haroldson said. “The girls were more excited than nervous. They were ready to play right from the beginning and there wasn’t a lot of pressure on the game because we had never been in this position before. These girls have been working so hard since the beginning of the season so it’s very rewarding that all that hard work paid off.”
Janov was named the CIF-Ss Division 3 Player of the Year, Haroldson was the Coach of the Year and Maguy and Katelin Harris were selected for the All-CIF team.
Entering the season, Haroldson knew she had an exceptionally talented team, but it wasn’t until late January when Redondo won the Bonita Tournament (including wins against perennial powers La Serna Bonita and Troy), then defeated rival Mira Costa that she realized the Sea Hawks had a good chance at becoming CIF champs.
“After winning the Bonita Tournament things really changed for the team,” Haroldson said. “Something just really clicked with the girls when we won that tournament.”
Redondo went on to win its first Bay League championship, finishing the season with an impressive 29-3 record. Two of its losses were to CIF-SS Division 2 champion Schurr.
Haroldson attributes the success of her program to the dedication of her players and coaches.
“The seniors this year have played a huge role in the success of building the program,” Haroldson said. “They started this journey with me as head coach and they continued to believe in themselves, their teammates, the coaches and what I have been trying to do for the program for the last three years. Of course, this program is still building and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can continue to do.”
Boys duplicate title
Although it finished in fourth place in the Bay League, Redondo enjoyed a season that no other previous boys water polo team can claim. Redondo (23-11) captured the program’s first CIF title with a 10-7 victory over Walnut in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 final on Nov. 10,
Ethan Igloi’s goal tied the score 7-7 with 3:21 left in the third period, the first of four unanswered goals by the second-seeded Sea Hawks.
When Blake Vogelsang’s shot caromed off the right post, teammate Gavin Pierce grabbed the rebound and found the back of the net with what would be the game-winning goal as time wound down in the third period.
Vogelsang scored twice in the final period to provide the Sea Hawk’s the insurance needed for the win.
Alex Wrightsman recorded three goals in the first period to keep Redondo in the game and goalkeeper Camilo Munoz made 10 saves.
The victory capped off a season where Redondo won its first tournament championship in school history, defeating top-seeded Hoover, Poly, Burroughs, Palisades and San Clemente to claim the Long Beach Poly Tournament title.
The Sea Hawks went on to win the Corona Tournament with wins against Lakeside, Xavier Prep, Murrieta Mesa, Corona and Santa Ynez.
The CIF title was a goal for Redondo head coach Chris Murin who took over the program in 2014 after helping Palos Verdes win boys and girls titles.
Vogelsang felt the key to Redondo’s success dated back to its summer program.
“We played against a lot of different clubs and developed our team chemistry during that time,” the senior explained. “We had a solid starting core and a strong bench and we beat Division 1 and Division 3 teams during the season, which gave us confidence going into the playoffs.”
Vogelsang was named the CIF-SS Division 4 Player of the Year, Murin earned Coach of the Year honors and junior Alex Wrightsman and senior Seth Ulrich made the All-FIC team.