The Mater Dei Monarchs — defending (and seven-time) CIF-Southern Section Division 1 champions in boys’ water polo — will defend their title under a new leader in 2018.

Former head coach Chris Segesman stepped down at the end of last season, citing the desire to spend more time with his family and move into a business career. A 2004 U.S. Olympian, Segesman guided both the boys’ and girls’ water polo teams at Mater Dei for 12 years, and  three former Monarchs — Bret Bonanni, McQuin Baron and Thomas Dunstan — played on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.

Mater Dei’s new head coach is Milos Skaljac, formerly assistant water polo coach at USC and at Servite High School. The native of Serbia played at Long Beach City College and Concordia (Irvine), where he was an All-American and part of two national championship teams, then played in Europe before starting his coaching career.

Mater Dei (24-3 overall in 2017) was the only Catholic school to win a league title (Trinity) in 2017, and was ranked No. 1 in Division 1 at the end of the regular season. The Monarchs’ Jackson Seybold (now at Stanford) was the D-1 Player of the Year.

The Monarchs are part of the Divisions 1 and 2 grouping in 2018 that also includes Santa Margarita (17-4, No. 5 in 2017), Loyola (16-11, No. 8) and Damien (21-9). Divisions 1 and 2 will be separated into two divisions at the end of the 2018 regular season for the playoffs, based on performance.

Other divisional groups include the following Catholic schools:

  • Division 3: Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, Servite.
  • Division 4: J.Serra.
  • Division 5: Alemany, St. John Bosco, Villanova Prep.  
  • Division 6: Crespi; La Salle, St. Francis.
  • Division 7: Cathedral.

The 2018 season begins Aug. 20, league plays starts in late September, and playoff action starts Oct. 30.

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