Union Democrat staff

The playoff brackets for girls water polo were released late Tuesday afternoon and Sonora has picked up the No. 1 seed.

The Wildcats will take on the No. 8 seed Kingsburg Friday in Fresno.

The ongoing fires in California forced the California Interscholastic Federation to postpone a number of high school sports playoff events and bracket announcements late last week.

“Due to the wildfires in NorCal/SoCal the impact on our member schools is ongoing. The health and safety of our student-athletes is our No. 1 priority. Please note that all CIF playoff contests could be postponed, delayed, moved, etc. and we’ll update everyone as necessary,” CIF tweeted Friday.

The delay has been a positive turn of events for the team, said coach Matt Personius.

“I was able to give the girls Monday off and now we have three days of practice before our playoff game,” he said. “The girls are very positive and motivated right now, and I think we’re planning our best water polo of the year.”

The team will be on the road for the match which will be held at Clovis East High School at noon.

A win would have the team back in the pool Friday for a 5 p.m. match, also at Clovis.

“Whatever happens this weekend, I feel very gratified at our progress and I’m extremely proud of the girls and all the work they put in this year,” said Personius. “We always knew we wanted to qualify for the Northern California CIF playoff tournament, but I have to say, we never expected to be seeded number one in our division. This is a great honor and we hope to live up to the expectations.”

The Wildcats won the Sac-Joaquin Division III championship Saturday after a 9-3 win over Kimball High and were undefeated in Mother Lode League play.