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Volleyball:

Battle of Bay event a success

March 12, 2010|By Charlie Brande

The First Annual Battle of the Bay boys’ volleyball alumni matches on March 6 were extremely successful with spirited play, renewed camaraderie, and a special evening for local volleyball players both present and past.

It was obvious to Dan Glenn’s Newport Harbor High team and Steve Conti’s Corona del Mar squad, that volleyball has been played at a high level in this area for a long time.

The 70s and 80s match was the best attended as both teams had a number of players. CdM’s Brian Lewis, who is in his 40s, showed that there is a reason that his number is retired in the Errion gymnasium at CdM. He showed that he could still play at a very high level. Another Sea King who was very impressive was Dick Monroe, who played for Corona in 1974. In his 50s, Dick played middle for the CdM 70/80s alumni team and returned to hit outside against CdM’s varsity team in the last match of the night.

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Newport’s contingency was also very representative with Bill Yardley, Steve Friedman, Mike Curci, and Greg Hart hitting the sets from Drew and Sean Sheward with Gary Crane’s passing initiating the play. The most colorful plays came from Peter Helfrich, who, after being taunted by Lewis, screamed on each kill and yelled under the net at Tom Mitchell. Lewis kept saying something about "set HER the ball again.”

While the setting of Todd Miller (MVP of the ’78 CdM team) directed the Sea King attack, Mitchell, Jim Sargeant, Jon Schisler, Don Bassler and Mike McKibben were impressive hitters. There was some controversy with the CdM team. It seems that two of its players did not play at CdM but claimed to have coached there. I am sure that this will be addressed before next year’s Battle of the Bay.

With the game barely started, Newport’s Mike Flinn suffered a game-ending injury. As he backed outside to hit, he felt a pop in his calf and could not continue. That did not keep him from attending the post-ame festivities at the Newport Beach Tennis Club.

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