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Sea Kings' Piggott, Ellis shine at Junior Olympics

July 14, 2007

Corona del Mar High graduate Juliane Piggott, headed to UCLA, and Sea King Gus Ellis were both named to the 18 Open All-Tournament Team at the recently completed USA Volleyball Junior Olympics.

The girls' competition was in Minneapolis, Minn., with the boys playing in Atlanta.

Both players helped their team to bronze medals for third-place finishes.

Piggott, an outside hitter, and fellow CdM graduate Kelly Christian, a setter who is University of Washington-bound, played for the TCA 18-Third Degree team. They helped TCA to a third in the tournament in the girls' 18 Open Division after falling in the semifinals to Long Beach 18 Mizuno, 25-20, 25-16, 25-21.

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TCA, which is based in both Newport Beach and Fountain Valley, was coached by Neil Mason. The club was looking to defend its Open Division championship of a year ago, a team which Piggott, the Daily Pilot Dream Team Player of the Year as a senior, was also a part of.

Also on the team were Alexandra Ayers, Lydia Bai, Kendall Bateman, Lauren Bledsoe, Christine Douglas, Lilla Frederick, Kelly Holford, Stevi Robinson, Janea Rosell, Stacey Schmidt and Geena Urango.

Ellis, who will be a senior at CdM, played on the Balboa Bay 18 Quiksilver team with recent CdM graduates Phil Bannan, Daily Pilot Player of the Year Blaine Nielsen and Adam Smith. The trio of grads are headed to UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and UCLA, respectively.

Balboa Bay 18 Quiksilver, based in Newport Beach, also finished third in the Gold Division, winning the first nine matches before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion HP 18 of Orange, 28-26, 25-20, on July 7.

Also on the team were Tucker Alleborn, Andrew Pizula, Drew Bruns, Tom Hastings, Ian Connelly, Michael Kahl, Nick Kearney, Paul Spitsen, Josh Laurel and Sam Morehouse.

The Balboa Quiksilver team was coached by Travis Turner, who also coaches the Orange Coast College men's volleyball team.

The Balboa 18 White team, also playing in the boys' 18s Open Division, finished 6-5. That team finished strong, winning its last three matches to capture Flight 2 after a 25-17, 25-23 victory over Roch Pace Bootlegger.

— Matt Szabo

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