Boys' Volleyball Dream Team: Nielsen ready to take off

CdM senior showed remarkable improvement each season, ending his senior campaign as Dream Team Player of the Year.

June 25, 2010|By Steve Virgen,
(Daily Pilot File…)

Year after year, Weston Nielsen grew.

Everyone could see that maturation, but it was most evident on the volleyball court for Corona del Mar High. Sea Kings' Coach Steve Conti watched with fascination a boy turn into a young man, a quiet role player turn into a vocal leader.

It was easy to notice during Nielsen's senior year.

"He matured just as much physically as he did mentally," Conti said of his star 6-foot-5 outside hitter. "He also developed into a strong leader. You don't see guys really develop both physically and mentally like that. It was really neat to see him step up in that leadership role. He did a great job of making everyone feel a part of the team."

Nielsen, bound for UC Santa Barbara in the fall, also found success as the top player in the Newport-Mesa area. He is the Daily Pilot Dream Team Player of the Year.


He ended his senior season as the top player in the county, named by the Orange County Register. He was also the Co-MVP of the Pacific Coast League and he made the All-CIF Southern Section Division I first team.

Nielsen said a lot of the credit needs to go to his coach.

"He's the biggest reason I've been getting all these awards," said Nielsen, who also credited his ability to buy into the team concept. "This year, I just did my part on CdM's team. We knew not one guy was going to win a match for us. I improved because I became more of a team member. I became more of a team leader. I felt that I improved a lot."

Nielsen's improvement helped the Sea Kings reach the Division I semifinals, and capture their eighth straight PCL championship. He led CdM with 294 kills. Conti was impressed with how Nielsen did his best to improve all facets of his game. Nielsen finished with 122 digs, 40 blocks and 37 aces.

But Conti sees Nielsen developing even more, as he continues his career at UCSB, where his older brother Blaine also plays. Blaine was the Dream Team Player of the Year in 2007.

"There's no doubt in my mind that his best volleyball is in front of him," Conti said. "He's going to develop a ton over there."

Nielsen is excited for the future, especially since he gets to play with his brother. He always wanted to play for the Gauchos. He committed to UCSB during his junior year at CdM. USC, Pepperdine, UCLA and Penn State showed interest in Nielsen, but he had his mind set on being a Gaucho.

Nielsen will share an apartment with Chris Hartig, an incoming freshman out of Esperanza.

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