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CdM’s balloon pops

VOLLEYBALL: Sea Kings go up by two games, lose the third, 38-36, as their season ends in five games at Cathedral of San Diego.

November 21, 2007|By David Carrillo Peñaloza

SAN DIEGO — After the longest game Corona del Mar’s Bill Christiansen had ever coached in, there he was smiling. Not with his team, but the opposition’s near the net after Game 3.

In his 27th year coaching volleyball, Christiansen was still having fun.

His CdM girls had just lost a chance to sweep Cathedral Catholic of San Diego on the road. Nothing stood in their way until that third game, a 38-36 defeat, where there were more ties than at a corporate boardroom meeting.

The road to the quarterfinals of the CIF State Division III Southern California Regional still looked clear with Christiansen’s loose approach. Just one more victory against the young Dons and CdM had another showdown with rival Laguna Beach.

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But Christiansen’s demeanor didn’t rub off on the No. 6-seeded Sea Kings, as they played tight and the No. 3 Dons capitalized, coming from behind to win, 17-25, 19-25, 38-36, 25-21, 15-8 to advance out of Tuesday night’s opening round.

As CdM gathered itself before heading into the visiting locker room, Cathedral Catholic’s players ran through a fan-made tunnel to celebrate in their locker room.

When Christiansen came out after a 25-minute session with his Sea Kings (18-12), he found himself sitting next to Cathedral Catholic Coach Kelly Drobeck courtside. He still couldn’t believe what just happened against the Dons (16-6), the San Diego Section champs with eight sophomores, three freshmen, three juniors and one senior.

“She just out-coached me,” said Christiansen, whose team last year advanced to the regional semifinals. “They save the best for last. They’re a good team and they didn’t quit. They started having breaks go their way. They played a little better defense as each game went on, and the momentum swung when we lost the third game.

“I’m always disappointed when we lose. Volleyball is a very fickle [sport]. One point in the game, you look like you’re on top of the world and the next point you’re smacked down to the ground. We had lots of opportunities for match point [in the third game] and we just didn’t finish it off.”

The missed opportunities allowed Cathedral Catholic the chance to bounce back and eventually sneak into a quarterfinal date with No. 2 Laguna Beach (22-7), the team that has had CdM’s number in recent matches.

If you asked Drobeck, the same could be said whenever the Sea Kings have played the Dons.

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