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CdM gets rematch

Sea Kings visit Redlands East Valley, hoping to put a halt to recent postseason losing streak against the Wildcats.

November 30, 2009|By Barry Faulkner

The electronic scoreboard at Redlands East Valley High will only display part of the score visiting Corona del Mar is trying to settle in the Southern California Regional Division II final of the CIF State girls’ volleyball playoffs.

For this match, which begins at 7 p.m., is yet another rematch in a recent string of meetings between the two Southern Section powers, the latest being a four-game win for REV in the Southern Section Division II-AA final Nov. 21.

The top-seeded Wildcats (36-3) also defeated CdM (30-6) in last year’s section and regional finals, behind the powerful right arm of 6-foot-2 outside hitter Kris Vansant.

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Vansant, now a junior who has already committed to the University of Washington, had 22 kills in the section title match 10 days ago.

“She’s one of the best I’ve ever coached against,” CdM Co-Coach Darryl Gan said. “She’s one of the special athletes in this sport.”

And while Gan said there are things the Sea Kings can do to slow Vansant, the key to the match will be which CdM team gets off the bus after about a 90-minute journey into the Inland Empire.

“We weren’t very sharp [Nov. 21], but we were a lot sharper Saturday [a sweep at Elsinore],” Gan said. “We can’t get caught up in what they’re going to do. Our main focus and goal will be to stay in our system. We believe that as long as we do that, we’ll have an opportunity to be successful.”

CdM’s systematic approach is best when everyone is involved.

Senior setter Madie Smith is the catalyst, triggering an offense that has not relied on one or two specific attackers.

Junior opposite Morgan Boukather, senior middle blocker Amanda Nickel, senior outside hitter Sydney Brombal, junior middle Claire Ham and sophomore outside hitter Mary McKennon will all be utilized by Smith, an All-CIF honoree bound for the University of San Diego.

Junior libero Katelyn Baker and junior Catherine Sullivan will also be relied upon to give CdM the trademark ball control it needs to remain in system.

The winner goes to the state final Saturday at UC Irvine.


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