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What Brown can do for Tars

Senior outside hitter becomes Newport Harbor High's new leader as Sailors attempt to duplicate last season's success.

August 26, 2010|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com

Outlook: The Sea Kings enter the season ranked No. 38 in the country by PrepVolleyball.com. CdM is primed to claim its fifth straight outright Pacific Coast League title and reach the CIF Southern Section championship match for the third consecutive year. Reaching both goals might be harder because gone is setter Madie Smith, a two-time All-CIF Southern Section Division II-AA pick, and Jim Downey, the team's co-coach the past two seasons. Smith is at UCLA and Gan said Downey moved to Indiana. The Sea Kings welcome two new schools, Woodbridge and Northwood, to the league. Gan said the additions bolster the league. Boukather, a Stanford-bound outside hitter, and Claire Ham, an Auburn-bound middle blocker, lead the Sea Kings, who move up to Division I-A. Gan expects CdM to be just as good as last year or better.

COSTA MESA

Coach: Jeff Weihert (first year)

2009 record: 4-13, 2-6 in the Orange Coast League (fourth)

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Returning starters: OH Alex Krohnfeldt (Sr.); OH Shannon Walthers (Sr.); MB Devan Davison (Sr.); S Sami Feinstein (Sr.); MB Annie Sturm (Sr.); L Nikki Lether (Sr.)

Key newcomers: OPP Amanda Moore (Fr.); MB Molly Settles (So.); MB-OPP Crystal Rubright (Sr.)

Key dates: at El Dorado, Sept. 9; at Villa Park, Sept. 15; at Laguna Hills, Sept. 19; Laguna Beach (home), Oct. 14; at Estancia, Oct. 19; Estancia (home), Nov. 3

Outlook: Weihert is the Mustangs' seventh coach in 10 years. Weihert, a club coach and director of the SWAT Team Volleyball Club in Anaheim, replaces Jim Mercer, who lasted one season. Costa Mesa has struggled in the Orange Coast League, failing to record a winning season in the first four years of the league. With Saddleback joining the league this season, the Mustangs have a shot to make the playoffs out of the six-team league. The Mustangs haven't defeated crosstown rival Estancia in the previous 12 meetings. Weihert, who has been the head coach at Villa Park, Brea Olinda and Orange in the past, is aware of the Mustangs' past woes. He said he plans to stay at Costa Mesa for a while and turn the program into a winner.

ESTANCIA

Coach: Paul Munoz (first year)

2009 record: 15-10, 4-4 in the Orange Coast League (third)

Returning starters: OH Lily McLendon (Sr.); MB Lauren Peterson (Jr.)

Key newcomers: OPP Gianna Jason (So.); S Ilene Umansky (So.).

Key dates: at University Tournament, Sept. 10-11; at Dave Mohs Tournament, Sept. 17-18, 20; Laguna Beach (home), Oct. 5; Costa Mesa (home), Oct. 19; at Laguna Beach, Oct. 21; at Costa Mesa, Nov. 3

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