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No upset for CdM

Boys' Volleyball

Sea Kings play tough first set with Loyola, which sweeps huge nonleague clash Saturday.

April 21, 2012|By Bruce Bourquin, Special to the Daily Pilot

CORONA DEL MAR — Saturday's match had almost everything the Corona del Mar High boys' volleyball crowd could want, especially in a nonleague regular-season match.

The defending national champion and No. 23-ranked team in the nation, according to the Powerade Fab 50 ESPN Rise rankings, hosting this season's No. 1-ranked team in the nation in the Loyola Cubs? Check.

A playoff atmosphere, with a sizable crowd coming from both teams and a large Sea Kings student section? Check.

An upset victory at Corona del Mar's gym? Not so much.

After a first set in which the Sea Kings matched the Cubs kill-for-kill nearly the entire way, Loyola took control just long enough to win, 29-27, 25-18, 25-20.

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CdM (18-6) played well in one whale of a tuneup going into the final stretch before the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs, which begin in two weeks.

Corona del Mar, which is 7-0 atop the Pacific Coast League, plays its next match at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at second-place Irvine High and have three more league matches before the playoffs begin, including a Friday home match against Woodbridge. The Sea Kings close the regular-season at Newport Harbor in the Battle of the Bay on May 4.

CdM will not see the Cubs (21-0), who are in Division 1, in this spring's playoffs. Loyola is ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division 1.

"We'll find out what we learned as we continue to go through our season," said CdM Coach Steve Conti, whose team is ranked No. 2 in Division 2. "We were right there. It would've been nice to get that first game from them."

The Sea Kings were this close to getting that first set, but could not put away game point three times.

Senior outside hitter Parker Brown, who had a match-high 15 kills, delivered a kill down the sideline for a 24-23 lead just before CdM was denied three times on game point.

"I think our team was pretty confident going into the match," said Brown, who is narrowing down his college choice after recently visiting a few programs. "After the first game, we lost confidence. We knew we were in for a tough match. We learned who can get what job done, what each person's roles are. We learned we're very beatable. We can lose to any team and we can beat any team."

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