CORONA DEL MAR — Any road to a championship season has it bumps. For the Corona del Mar High boys' volleyball team, it hit a major one on April 21 in Los Angeles.
Loyola on that night swept the Sea Kings in three sets, on all three levels. On the bus ride home, Coach Steve Conti and his assistants were perplexed with how the players carried themselves.
Remember, the Sea Kings went out in the same fashion at home to the Cubs in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs last year. Another sweep did not seem to affect the players as much as the coaches.
"We kind of had too much of an enjoyable bus ride home," Conti, who made it a point to talk to his varsity players that there was no reason to be in a good mood.
"Sometimes there's a pivotal moment within your season where something occurs and clicks and connects where you get yourself to a new level. That was one of the most pivotal points in our season. Believe it or not, it was a loss that got us to where we are."