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CdM plays keep-away

Boys' Volleyball

Sea Kings shift from jumpers to float serves to effectively avoid Tars' libero Richley and win.

May 04, 2012|By Barry Faulkner
(Kevin Chang | Daily…)

NEWPORT BEACH — In the sweat box that housed the annual boys' volleyball Battle of the Bay, it figured that one team's ability to turn down the heat proved to be a crucial element in the victory.

Corona del Mar High Coach Steve Conti instructed his players to shelve their jump serves in favor of float serves, in order to better locate after dropping the first game to host Newport Harbor. The resulting accuracy helped the Sea Kings rally for a 22-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 nonleague triumph to cap the regular season Friday.

"I started going to float serves and I think that was a big part of our success," said Conti, whose team improved to 22-6 by handling its crosstown rival for the third straight nonleague match. The CdM win avenged a Newport Harbor sweep in a best-of-three final at the Orange County Championships on March 19. "We have four or five guys who jump serve and we were serving out or hitting the ball right to the best passer in the whole gym [Sailors' senior libero Max Richley]. I thought [the float serves] gave us a better opportunity to control the ball and keep with our game plan by not serving the libero."

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CdM senior outside hitter Parker Brown was one of the jump servers who changed to floaters. But he kept banging away at the net, recording a match-high 23 kills.

"Parker is a gamer," Conti said. "I thought he kind of played within himself. He is a guy who can go back and crack his jump serve. But I thought we were able to score some points and do some things off his float serve, too. Certainly, when we need a kill, we're going to be able to use him quite a bit during our [CIF Southern Section Division 2] playoff run."

Conti, however, also was quick to term the victory a team effort, while Newport Harbor Coach Steve Astor was effusive with praise for CdM.

"Talent-wise, I'm not sure there is a big difference," Astor said. "But [the Sea Kings] executed some of the simple plays better. [CdM senior setter] Joe Ctvrtlik was just outstanding in this match. He ran the offense so well for them and kept us on our toes. And, passing-wise, [junior] Erik Ctvrtlik had a much better match. The senior trio of Joe [Ctvrtlik], Jack [Reed, a middle blocker] and [Brown] played outstanding. As well as they played, we were still right there. We had our chances, but they just made a few more plays."

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