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Bulldogs click in 18-1 victory

Girls' water polo: Visiting Burbank jumps out to a big lead and La Cañada just can't keep up.

December 06, 2011|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

LA CANADA — The La Cañada High and Burbank girls' water polo teams both had matches canceled last week as a result of the wild windstorms that hit Southern California.

With a Spartans squad that is short on experience and had just one contest under its belt, and a Bulldogs group that is still trying to find its identity, missing out on a chance to play was a setback for the teams.

Despite some wayward tree branches still remaining at the bottom of the La Cañada pool, the teams got the opportunity to jump back into action Tuesday when they met for a nonleague game.

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It was apparent from the opening moments that Burbank possessed the more talented squad, as the Spartans were never in the match and the Bulldogs were able to roll to an 18-1 victory.

Burbank (4-2), which lost All-CIF Southern Section standout Jordan Card to graduation last season, is still trying to establish its offensive presence.

"They were so used to just throwing the ball into Jordan last year and letting her do the scoring," said Bulldogs Coach Evelin Setaghian, a former All-Area Player of the Year who is in her first season after serving as a varsity assistant. "I have to tell them to shoot the ball and not just hold on to it. But things are getting better, and they're learning."

That offense Tuesday was led by Natalie Pentkowski, who tallied a match-high six goals.

Pentkowski said there is a much different makeup with the Bulldogs this season.

"Compared to last year, we are really working as a whole, as a team this year," she said. "This year there's really no one key player and we're just all trying to step up so the team can be successful. We can see that we're improving."

Burbank also received four goals from Janna Ayvazyan and two each from Abigail Glaessner, Gabby Rodriguez and Evet Azarian.

Offense wasn't easy to come by for the Spartans (0-2). The team's lone score came with 3:49 left in the second quarter, and the goal came off a Burbank player. La Cañada's Rebecca Burten fired a shot that went off the hand of the Bulldogs' Rodriguez, sailing misdirected into the cage.

With just five players who have any extended water polo experience, Spartans first-year Coach Kristen Dronberger said her squad will definitely experience some growing pains this season.

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