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Boys volleyball: Sea Kings shipwrecked by Pirates

May 27, 2001

Tony Altobelli

CYPRESS - The Corona del Mar High boys volleyball team picked an

inopportune time to have an off day.

The Sea Kings saw too many mistakes mount on their side of the scoring

sheet and it proved too much to overcome in Saturday's 15-9, 15-5, 15-8 loss to Santa Ynez in the CIF Southern Section Division IV title match at

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Cypress College.

"That's been our Achilles' heel all season long," CdM Coach Steve

Conti said of the Sea Kings' errors. "But I don't need a banner hanging

on the wall to know if my team worked hard. They're champions in my

book."

CdM senior Brian Gallagher led the fourth-seeded Sea Kings with 14

kills and six digs, while senior Charlie Alshuler chipped in 11 kills and

10 digs. Evan Burden triggered the attack with 35 assists.

"Brian brought his complete game to the table," Conti said. "All year,

we've had different people step up and have a great match. Brian's hard

hitting and Charlie's excellent defense were very nice to see out there."

Unforced errors, combined with the Santa Ynez tall timbers, made an

unsettling combination for the defending Division I champion Sea Kings

(15-7), who were making their fifth straight title-match appearance.

"We walked through what I thought they would try to accomplish,"

Pirates Coach Chip Fenenga said. "Basically we wanted to serve away from

No. 10 (Gallagher) and No. 16 (Forrest Mack) and let our aggressive play

take over."

The Pirates, winners of three straight section crowns and six, dating

back to 1995, were led by 6-foot-8 junior Matt McKinney, who pounded 24

kills and had eight blocks.

"He was all over the place," Conti said of McKinney. "They did a good

job of moving him around and keeping him involved at all times. It seemed

like he was everywhere out there."

McKinney made his presence felt right away with two kills and two

blocks as the second-seeded Pirates (20-4) jumped out to a 7-2 advantage

in the opening game.

"The opening half of the first game was pure adrenalin," Conti said.

"We just had to settle down and regain some composure."

Which is exactly what the Sea Kings did. Burden sparked a 5-0 run with

a block and a kill for points as CdM tied the game at 7-7.

In a game which had a number of momentum changes, Santa Ynez regained

control with a 4-0 run, thanks to a block by 6-7 J.T. Gilmour, an ace by

Tommy Witt and a kill by Jeff Urton.

CdM cut the deficit to 11-9, but the Pirates took advantage of Sea

King mistakes for three straight points and ended Game 1 with an emphatic

kill by McKinney.

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