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Battle of Bay II in semis?

No. 2-seeded Corona del Mar could meet rival Newport Harbor in CIF Division I semifinal.

May 11, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

"I would rather have our [first-round] opponent than their opponent."

Conti said he couldn't control the draw. One thing he can control is having his players prepared.

Last season, the Sea Kings' first year back in Division I, Conti said his team relied on one or two players. The result: CdM lost in the second round at Mater Dei.

The Sea Kings now feature many weapons.

There's UC Santa Barbara-bound outside hitter Weston Nielsen, USC-bound outside hitter Joey Booth, opposite/setter Parker Brown and middle blocker Evan Dean.

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The Sea Kings have competed against the best in Division I, from Loyola, to Newport Harbor, to Edison, to Santa Margarita. CdM is also one of the lone California teams to have played the team ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN RISE, Punahou of Honolulu, Hawaii, twice this season.

"Even though we lost both times, those matches made us tougher," Conti said.

The Sailors and Sea Kings can possibly meet in the semis. Glenn said his Newport Harbor team, led by UCLA-bound setter Jackson Carmack, USC-bound middle blocker Will Connelly, Penn State-bound libero Connor Curry and standout junior opposite Cody Caldwell, isn't looking that far ahead.

"Not after last year's ambush," said Glenn, whose team was upset at home by St. John Bosco in the first round. "Last year we had a big winning streak heading into the playoffs, beat CdM for the city championship, and all of a sudden, everything came crashing down.

"We would have to beat some really good teams [to make the semis]. Any team can beat any team on this level."

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