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Sea Kings collect crown

Boys' Volleyball

CdM makes easy work of University to lock up outright Pacific Coast League championship.

May 02, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
  • Corona del Mar High's Parker Brown fires away against University on Monday.
Corona del Mar High's Parker Brown fires away against… (Don Leach, unknown )

IRVINE — An official walked toward the Corona del Mar High bench to tell Coach Steve Conti that his players had to sit during the boys' volleyball match.

There were not enough chairs for the Sea Kings and their coaching staff before the match at University High on Monday.

Two players from University's side came over with a couple of folded chairs. Only one assistant sat courtside, as the others had to move to the stands to make room for CdM's players.

The rest of the assistants sat in the second row and stretched out their legs. They did not have enough time to get comfortable.

In less than an hour, the Sea Kings swept University, 25-18, 25-16, 25-15, and clinched the Pacific Coast League title outright with one league match left. There was not much of a celebration.

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The Sea Kings expect to win in league. They have not dropped a league match in six years.

As Conti said CdM wrapped up its 12th league title in the last 13 seasons under him, he looked ahead. Two regular-season matches at home remain — Beckman on Thursday and Newport Harbor on Friday.

Both are huge for CdM (23-4, 9-0 in league), which is ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Division II coaches' poll, and for different reasons.

The Sea Kings are trying to close out league play perfect and then claim the Battle of the Bay the following day.

"That may be a difficult thing," Conti said of keeping his players focused on Beckman before competing in the annual rivalry match with Newport Harbor. "Beckman is the only team so far that's taken a [set] off us in league. Even the first two [sets] against Beckman that we won were all deuce [sets]. I don't think we've played our best volleyball against Beckman. I think these guys want to be able to hopefully come out and play a little bit better.

"We've got two days to get ready for two teams. Hopefully, our guys aren't looking ahead toward Harbor [and] we take care of business Thursday night."

If CdM knocks off Beckman, Conti believes his team will lock up the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs.

The release of the playoff pairings is Sunday. The Sea Kings have a lot of work to do before making a run at winning their first section title since 2007.

Conti wants his players to be playing good, competitive volleyball around this time of the year. Playing at a high level is vital heading into the playoffs.

Against University, which is winless in league, the Sea Kings at times looked rusty.

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