Pali High Water Polo Back in City Final

Senior co-captain Jackie Au scored five goals to lead the Dolphins to the finals for the fourth time in five years. / Steve Galluzzo
Jackie Au scored five goals to lead the Dolphins to the finals for the fourth time in five years. / Steve Galluzzo

It was not easy, but the Palisades High girls water polo team advanced to its fourth City Section final in five years with a 15-10 semifinal victory over Granada Hills on Thursday at Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center.

The fourth-seeded Highlanders (13-4) scored first, but Palisades led 7-4 at halftime and began the fourth quarter with a 13-5 lead.

Senior co-captain Jackie Au led the attack with five goals, Leighanne Estabrook and Clara Saab each scored four goals and Lilly Ramos scored twice for the top-seeded Dolphins (18-6), who will play for their first section championship Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at L.A. Valley College.

Palisades will face a familiar opponent in third-seeded Eagle Rock, which defeated the Dolphins in three successive finals (2013, 2014 and 2015) before falling to Birmingham, 8-6, in its bid for a fifth straight City crown last season.

The Eagles (15-2) exacted revenge on No. 2-seeded Birmingham 5-3 in Thursday’s other semifinal in Lake Balboa. Birmingham upset Palisades 13-7 in the semifinals last winter.

— STEVE GALLUZZO