Burroughs High girls' water polo Coach Michael Singhanate knows the task facing his team will be a daunting one.
But as has been the case all season, he is hoping this recent challenge will provide another learning experience for his players.
Burroughs was able to garner the fourth and final automatic postseason berth from the Pacific League and, as its reward; it will travel to face top-seeded Riverside Poly. The Indians will open the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs by heading to face the Bears, the Inland Valley League champion and overall No. 1 seed in the tournament Wednesday.
"We know they are a good team and we know it's going to be a challenge for us," Singhanate said. "I have been researching [Riverside Poly] and I have been looking at YouTube videos of them and they are definitely good. The girls' have been doing research as well.
"But we are excited to be in the playoffs and we welcome the challenge. We are just looking at it as a learning experience and hopefully we can get something out of it. We are looking forward to the experience."
Riverside Poly was the runner-up in last season's championship voyage, losing to Crescenta Valley. Poly has defeated Crescenta Valley this season, though, besting the Falcons, who are seeded third, 16-5, on Feb. 4. Crescenta Valley captured the Pacific League championship for the fifth straight season.
Burroughs opened the Pacific League Tournament on Tuesday with a 22-6 loss to Crescenta Valley and lost Thursday to Arcadia, 8-5, is its last regular-season match.
The Indians sport an 8-15 record after going 3-5 in the Pacific League. Riverside Poly is 21-8 and was a perfect 6-0 in the Inland Valley League.
The winner will advance to Saturday's quarterfinal round to face either Lompoc Cabrillo, the Los Padres League champion, or Yucaipa, the Citrus Belt League's No. 3 finisher.
All matches are set to start at 5 p.m. unless a time change is mutually agreed upon.
"The only really bad thing about our first-round match is that we have to travel to Riverside," Singhanate said. "But other than that, we are just happy to be in the playoffs."