Maxine Eschger scores Palisades’ third goal in last Friday’s Southern California Regional game against Schurr
Photo: Steve Galluzzo

After shaking hands with their opponents following last Friday’s CIF Southern California Division II Regional defeat to Schurr, Palisades High girls water polo players gathered poolside for one last postgame chat and there were plenty of hugs and high-fives to go around.

Coach Kirk Lazaruk told his team how proud he was following a breakthrough campaign in which the Dolphins won 25 of 28 games—including 18 in a row to start the season—captured their first City Section championship and put up a spirited fight in the first half against the top-seeded Spartans from Montebello.

“It was a fantastic season,” Lazaruk said. “We would’ve been No. 1 in Division III, but we got the eighth seed in Division II, which is fine because you want to be challenged. Everyone played today and I told the girls to look at this as the first game of next season.”

Leighanne Estabrook, Adelaide Saab and Maxine Eschger each scored a goal and Chloe Berrisford and Jessie Taft made numerous saves for the Dolphins, who along with the boys team in the fall lifted the program to unprecedented heights.