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CdM dumps Laguna

Girls' Volleyball

Sea Kings advance to CIF Southern Section Division I-A final after beating the Breakers.

November 16, 2011|By Mike Sciacca

LAGUNA BEACH — If Corona del Mar High girls' volleyball coach Marissa Booker needed any reminder of her team's character, she needn't look anywhere but the second set of Tuesday's CIF Southern Section Division I-A semifinal match against rival Laguna Beach.

"To come back like that, in that second set, really showed me the heart of this team," said the first-year coach whose squad rallied to win Game 2 and used it as a springboard to an eventual, 25-20, 25-23, 17-25, 25-16 road victory that sends the second-seeded Sea Kings on to Saturday's divisional championship game.

Corona del Mar, which improved to 31-3, will face either defending champion and No. 1-seed Marymount, or Vista Murrieta, on Friday or Saturday at Cypress College.

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"Our team did an amazing job," Booker continued. "We focused in front of a big crowd tonight, and that [big crowd] is something we really haven't had. We talked about doing that in practice and I thought the girls did a great job in front of this crowd. The girls really came out to play tonight. It's a great win."

Pacific Coast League champion Corona del Mar took control of the match by coming up with a big-time rally in the second game before a full house at Laguna Beach's Dugger Gymnasium. The Breakers, the division's No. 3-seed, bolted to a 10-1 lead and were seemingly on their way toward evening up the match. The Sea Kings slowly fought back into the game and pulled to within 19-18 on a huge kill by senior middle blocker Britton Taylor. They tied the score at 19-19 on a misplayed ball by the Breakers and the teams were tied three more times, the last at 22-22, before junior outside hitter Grace Kennedy sent a shot off Laguna junior middle blocker Julia Goggin to give the Sea Kings the lead for good.

They took the set on a kill by freshman outside hitter Hayley Hodson.

"We have a tendency to get off to slow starts, which has been an issue for us in games, but once we get into a flow, we are unstoppable," senior libero Mary McKennon said. "Our team rally pulled together and played so great to pull out that second game. That was unbelievable."

Corona del Mar had strung together a seven-point run in the first game to wipe out 7-6 deficit en route to a 25-20 victory. The Sea Kings never trailed by less than three points after taking a 13-8 lead and led by as many as six points (23-17).

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