Dsc 0044a
Millikan Water Polo

PREVIEW: Millikan vs. Murrieta Valley, CIF Girls’ Water Polo

The562’s coverage of water polo & swimming is sponsored by the Aquatic Capital of America Foundation.

The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

The Millikan Rams will look to make history on Saturday afternoon, trying to win the program’s first ever CIF championship. They’ll face Murrieta Valley–champions from the Southwestern League–at Woollett Aquatic Center in Irvine at 12:20 p.m.

This veteran group of Rams has had an impressive season since being moved up to Division 2 this season, earning the top seed in this bracket. Millikan endured a grueling quarterfinal against Riverside Poly, but otherwise have cruised through these playoffs, winning their other two games by a combined score of 36-12.

The championship game will actually be a rematch from earlier in the season. Murrieta Valley beat Millikan in a tournament, 2-0, back on Jan. 26.

Keep The562 Free to Read! $5K Birthday Fundraiser, organized by Mike Guardabascio

Help celebrate the 5 Year Anniversary of The562.org by making a tax-deductible donation to our nonprofit! We set the goal of raising $5,000 for our 5 years of covering the Long Beach community at no cost to our readers. Help keep The562 accessible to the entire community by giving what you can to support our work.

Following Millikan’s 15-6 semifinal win over Dana Hills on Wednesday, head coach Jose Guzman looked ahead at Murrieta Valley and what his team will have to focus on in practices leading up to the game. He alluded to the team’s offseason trip to Italy, which could help them in this rematch.

“We’ve gotta keep working on our overall strengths,” said Guzman earlier this week. “Murrieta Valley is really grabby, they fight; just like when we played the Italians–they grab, they kick, they punch. We’ve seen it, but at the same time we’re not taking them lightly. We’re gonna give it our best.”

The Nighthawks are the No. 3 seed in the D2 bracket, and are coming off an impressive 6-4 win at Downey in the semifinals, knocking off the No. 2 seed in the process. Murrieta Valley is looking for its sixth CIF title in girls’ water polo since 2007. Their last championship came in 2016, winning the D2 title over El Toro.

Saturday’s title game will be the third of the day, and is scheduled to start at 12:20 p.m.

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for all of Saturday’s championship games.

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.