No back-to-back CIF titles for CdM boys' volleyball

Oak Park denies Sea Kings program's unprecedented repeat.

May 21, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Corona del Mar High senior Parker Brown, right, spikes the ball against Oak Park's Nick Fahn, in a CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship match held at Cypress College Saturday, May 19.
Corona del Mar High senior Parker Brown, right, spikes… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

Winning a CIF Southern Section title is tough enough. Repeating is that much harder.

Coach Steve Conti found out again how hard it is on Saturday, when his Corona del Mar High boys' volleyball team failed to defend its Division 2 crown.

His Sea Kings took the opening set and all they needed to become the first CdM boys' volleyball team to claim two straight section titles was win two more sets. They never won another set as top-seeded Oak Park went on to take the next three sets to beat second-seeded CdM.

Conti came up short of leading the Sea Kings to back-to-back section title wins once again. He made no excuses.

"The [five] years that we won [section titles], we deserved to win," said Conti, adding that the deserving team on Saturday was Oak Park.

Four times under Conti, CdM has been in position to win two straight section championships.


The first time the Sea Kings tried to complete the back-to-back title run was in 1999, when they lost in four sets to Back Bay rival Newport Harbor in Division I.

The second time was in 2001, as CdM lost in three sets to Santa Ynez in Division IV.

The third time was in 2006 and CdM lost to Valencia in five sets in Division II.

The fourth time, Conti said the Sea Kings ran into a very good and hungry team.

Oak Park denied CdM from making history by making history of its own – winning the program's first section title.

In Oak Park's previous four section title-match appearances in the last six years, it finished second every time.

Winning a section title had been tough on Oak Park.

Oak Park also ended CdM's shot to repeat as the CIF Southern California Regional Division II champion. The Sea Kings cannot even compete for it.

Oak Park earned one of the section's four berths into this week's tournament by winning its division against CdM on Saturday. Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach, South Torrance and Cathedral of Los Angeles are the other three teams, having won the Division 1, 3 and 4 section titles, respectively.

CdM Coach Ryan Schachter said he has heard the tallest kid at CdM Middle School, a 6-foot-8 eighth-grader, is not going to play basketball for the high school.

The kid just isn't any kid. He's the son of Michael Cage, who played in the NBA for 15 seasons.

Michael Cage Jr. is going to attend powerhouse Mater Dei as a freshman next school year. The Monarchs, who claimed the CIF Southern Section Division 1-AA and CIF State Division I titles last season, have one of the most storied programs.

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