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Brande: Future looks bright

Volleyball

November 18, 2011|By Charlie Brande

The recent Coastal Athletic League boys' volleyball playoffs were an exciting and well organized event as always. Hosted by Harbor Day School under the guidance of Mike Coleman, the Coastal League tournament is an experience that these young athletes treasure for many, many years. The excitement of the event coupled with the well-attended and intense feel that Harbor Day's Blass Gymnasium brings, create memories that are lasting and sweet.

The Coastal Athletic League is for the junior high school teams from Ensign, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, TeWinkle, Harbor Day as well as Huntington Beach's Dwyer and Sowers. Each season, the teams play a round-robin league play to determine seeds for the tournament. This is one of the first times that these young athletes can play in matches representing their school which makes this very special. It is also a sampling of the future high school events between Newport Harbor, Corona del Mar, Estancia, Costa Mesa, Edison and Huntington Beach.

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The semifinal matches were outstanding. In the seventh-grade division, top-seeded Dwyer battled Ensign who entered as the fourth seed with Dwyer sneaking out with a 27-25, 18-25, 18-16 victory. Ensign was led by the all around play of Max Toffel.

The other seventh-grade semi featured third-seeded Harbor Day versus second-seeded Corona del Mar. CdM won the three-game thriller, 25-16, 24-26, 15-12. Setter Vinson Chiu led Harbor Day especially with his serving while John Holland, Chase Hall and Ryan Shean were also major contributors. CdM's dominant middles, Fritz Miller and Jake Pearson, provided too much firepower. Setter Danny Rogers delivered with efficiency.

The eighth-grade semifinals were also well played with a packed house. Top-seeded Corona del Mar beat Sowers in two games, while Dwyer survived a battle with Harbor Day, 24-26, 25-23, 17-15. Harbor Day was led by the all-around play of William Hunter, the setting of Robbie Rosoff, and the middle hitting of Jacob Flaxman. Harbor Day was co-coached by Mike Coleman and by former Harbor Day setter Kim Coleman who also set for two national championship teams at Corona del Mar High and at UCLA.

In the seventh-grade finals, Corona del Mar avenged a three-game loss in league to win the championship in two games. With Miller and Pearson leading the way, the Sea Weed squad featured the all-around play of Will Gehl, Wilson Lubeck, Tyler Flood, and John Fenmore. They were co-coached by Mike Pearson and Joe Sloate.

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