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Family trees quite evident

September 07, 2009|By Charlie Brande

Last weekend, I was in Monterey for a wedding of a former player.

Jen Moser was a former back-row player on my UC Irvine women’s volleyball team. She was a three-time Big West Conference scholar-athlete. It is always such an honor to attend weddings of former players. I am always reminded about how many of these events I attend, as I have been coaching volleyball in this area for almost 35 years.

As I thought about my initial article, after a 15-year layoff as a volleyball columnist for the Daily Pilot, I started to think about all of the former volleyball players who have children who have followed in their footsteps.

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Two former Newport Harbor High middle blockers, Bruce Caldwell and Anne Yardley, have two who have had great success in Kyle Caldwell (currently at UCLA) and Cody Caldwell at Newport Harbor.

How about Mary Ann Muller Haly, who was an outstanding middle blocker at Corona del Mar and has a trio of superstars in Tyler and Spencer who both started for Steve Conti’s boys’ team at CdM this past year and Madison, who is an incoming freshman at Corona.

Julie Evans Castillo (Newport Harbor and Pepperdine) and Phil Castillo (Costa Mesa water polo/volleyball, but mostly water polo) have an up-and-coming sophomore middle blocker for Dan Glenn’s Newport Harbor team. Her name is Claire Castillo.

Kari Rush, who was the captain and setter for my first girls’ team that I ever coached at Newport Harbor as well as the first scholarship volleyball player at Stanford University, is the mother of Mackenzi Campbell, who sets for Newport and has committed to play at Montana State.

Caillen Sullivan, who was an opposite of Newport’s team last spring, is the son of former Sailor setter Greg Sullivan, who was the setter on my first team at Newport Harbor and whose stepmother is the former Michelle McKeever, a player on the 1984 Corona del Mar state championship team.

Wendi Rush Humphries, who led the Orange County Volleyball Club team to three national championships in the early 80’s and later starred at Stanford, has a freshman daughter at Corona del Mar, Kelsey Humphries, who, like her mother, is a setter.

UCI standout, Kari Pestolesi’s father, Tom, was a former teammate of Dan Glenn at Huntington Beach High.

Let’s not forget Newport sophomore Kaili Brande whose mother, Pam Lawrence, was a standout at CdM.

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