By Zach Cavanagh
For in-game updates, news and more for all of the Dana Hills High School sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCSports.
Boys Soccer Pushes Up to Second in League Race
The Dana Hills boys soccer team earned back-to-back wins over the top competition in league and are set up for a strong fight to the finish.
The Dolphins (9-8-2, 3-2-1) have already posted their second highest win total in the last 11 seasons with the most in that time being the 11 wins from last season. Dana Hills now looks in line for its first back-to-back playoff appearances since the 2012 and 2013 postseasons.
Wins over then-second-place Laguna Hills, 3-1, and then-third-place Tesoro, 2-0, have vaulted Dana Hills into the No. 2 spot in the league. The Dolphins now sit a game and a half behind league-leading Aliso Niguel, who hosts Dana Hills on Friday, Jan. 25.
Dana Hills could still find its way to the league title if the Dolphins score at win at Aliso Niguel and beat Trabuco Hills on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Dana Hills would need outside help in either two losses or a loss and a draw in Aliso Niguel’s final two games, at Tesoro and at Laguna Hills, would force a co-championship.
Girls Water Polo No. 3 Seed for League Tournament
The Dana Hills girls water polo team is through the regular part of the schedule, but now comes something new.
The Dolphins (16-8, 2-2) finished third in the league standings through the single round of league play. Due to the movement of the CIF calendar, the league water polo teams chose to play one round of league games.
In place of the second round of league games, the teams will play in a league carousel tournament on Tuesday, Jan. 29 and Thursday, Jan. 31.
Dana Hills won their first two games of league in strong fashion, 10-5 over Aliso Niguel and 11-4 over Tesoro, but the Dolphins found it tougher against the league’s top two with losses to El Toro, 14-8, and San Clemente, 13-7.
Dana Hills is ranked No. 3 in Division 4. The CIF-SS playoff brackets will be released on Sunday, Feb. 2.
Basketball Teams Set Up For Stretch Battles
The Dana Hills boys and girls basketball teams have followed similar paths to this point.
Both teams are coming off back-to-back league losses and sit at 2-3 and third place in league and possess similar overall records, the boys at 13-9 and girls at 13-10.
The boys dominated San Juan Hills in their first match-up, but the Stallions got their revenge at home, 65-61, on Wednesday, Jan. 23 to tighten up the Sea View League standings. San Juan Hills sits at 2-4 in fourth place.
The boys team has three games remaining, all at home. Dana Hills hosts league leader Tesoro, unbeaten in league, on Friday, Jan. 25, Laguna Hills on Monday, Jan. 28 and El Toro on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Dana Hills lost to El Toro by only one point on Jan. 18 and beat Laguna Hills by 21 points on Jan. 14.
The Dana Hills boys are ranked No. 6 in CIF-SS Division 4AA.
The girls team has a full game lead over fourth-place Trabuco Hills despite losses to the South Coast League’s top two in second-place San Clemente, 45-39, and first-place Aliso Niguel, 69-28.
As of press time, the girls have three games remaining. Dana Hills hosted Tesoro on Thursday, Jan. 24, but results were not available at press time. The Dolphins play at Trabuco Hills on Jan. 29 and host Aliso Niguel to close the season on Jan. 31.
CIF-SS basketball playoff brackets will be released on Monday, Feb. 3.
Girls Soccer Hits Rough Patch in League
The Dana Hills girls soccer team has had a tough fight this season.
After a successful year for then-first-year head coach Zaid Malkosh in a run to the playoffs last season, the Dolphins have struggled in year two.
The Dolphins are winless in league, 0-4-2, and are 2-6-3 overall. Dana Hills has not won three or less games in a season since the 2013-14 season. The Dolphins were winless in league that season, which was also the last year that Dana Hills missed the playoffs.
The Dolphins have played well defensively in their league campaign but have struggled to generate offense. Dana Hills’ two league ties are scoreless draws, and its last three losses are by 1-0 scores.
Tesoro (0-3-2) is also winless in league and hosted the Dolphins on Thursday, Jan. 24. Results were not available at press time. The teams played to a scoreless draw at Dana Hills on Jan. 12.
Dana Hills finishes the season on Thursday, Jan. 31 at San Clemente.