Nitros Edged by Fullerton, 12-9, in Playoffs

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Glendale High School varsity boys’ water polo team’s postseason ended in the second round of CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs when the Nitros were defeated by host Fullerton, 12-9, on Thursday.
Freshmen Tigran Megroyan and Rudolf Hovhannisyan combined for six goals while senior Arthur Lazaryan, junior Gregory Carrillo and freshman Gevorg Choginyan each scored once.
Megroyan also tallied three assists while Carrillo and Choginyan each had one.
Defensively, senior Hayk Mkrtchyan recorded a team-high 13 blocks while Megroyan and Choginyan added three and one blocks, respectively.
Lazaryan and senior Hamlet Tadevosyan combined for four of the Nitros’ eight steals. Carrillo, Choginyan, Megroyan and Mkrtchyan each added one steal.
Glendale mounted a late rally in the fourth quarter, outscoring Fullerton 5-2. It was the Nitros’ highest scoring period while holding Fullerton to its fewest goals.
“This pandemic brought with it a lot of uncertainty for our future, even our present,” said Narek Vardanian, Glendale’s head coach. “Similarly, when we were gearing up to start our first full season back, I didn’t know what to expect. This uncertainty brought with it frustrations, quarantines and unique challenges that we had to overcome. Through it all, our team showed resiliency, hard work and determination. I couldn’t be more proud of my guys and I’m honored to be their coach.”
The Nitros opened CIF with a 15-12 win over visiting Temecula Valley before their most recent loss. Glendale finished the year as the Pacific League’s runner-up with a 6-2 record (17-13 overall).