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Sea Kings romp into quarters

Less down time between CIF playoff matches helping CdM remain at the top of its game.

May 14, 2010|By Barry Faulkner

CORONA DEL MAR — A newly condensed CIF Southern Section playoff schedule is a pressing concern for any boys' volleyball team battling health issues. But, having to play potentially four matches in eight days to earn a berth in the Division I final may generate more harmony than harm for Corona del Mar High.

The No. 2-seeded Sea Kings showed Thursday night that fewer breaks between matches might enhance the crispness with which they have now dispatched their first two playoff opponents.

Visiting Dos Pueblos was the latest victim, as Coach Steve Conti's squad produced a 25-15, 25-17, 25-17 sweep in which the Sea Kings trailed only once.

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The victory propels CdM (22-8) into Saturday's quarterfinals at Edison.

CdM has played Edison twice before this season, winning, 25-22, 23-25, 18-16, in the semifinals of the Orange County Championships at Edison on March 20 and dropping a March 26 nonleague match, 23-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-18, 15-11, on the Chargers' floor.

The Dos Pueblos Chargers, however, couldn't manage more than a mild advance against the Sea Kings. The visitors (20-9) fell behind, 6-1, and trailed by as many as 11 in the opening game.

In Game 2, Dos Pueblos claimed its only lead at 3-2, and CdM built a lead as high as eight points.

In the finale, CdM led, 5-1, and led by as many as nine before sending the visitors on their way a little more than an hour after the match began.

"CdM can play volleyball at a very high level and it shows in their record," Dos Pueblos Coach Chris Hughes said. "[Conti] and I are good buddies and I told him 'You have a really good chance this year [to win it all].' "

If they continue to play as they have in a 12-match winning streak, the Sea Kings could indeed be tough to beat.

"We've definitely improved a lot throughout the season and, hopefully, we're playing our best volleyball right now," Conti said. "This is when you want to try to be playing your best volleyball. This team has really grown. We've had a lot of individuals, but an area where we've really grown is as a team and the players really care about each other and you can kind of see it in the way that we play."

The Sea Kings were efficient on offense, scrappy on defense and also appeared to have the mentality Conti preaches.

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