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Brande: Young guns in action

Volleyball

March 01, 2014|By Charlie Brande

The Coastal Athletic League of Orange County held its Girls' Volleyball Championships last week at Harbor Day School's Blass Gymnasium. The league is comprised of the local Newport Beach and Huntington Beach schools with a seventh-grade division and an eighth-grade division.

There is a weekly league schedule, which starts in December, and the final tournament that is seeded based on the standings of the league.

Mike Coleman, Harbor Day School's athletic director, has created an outstanding organized and professional tournament that these young players (and their parents) remember for the rest of their lives. This is one of the first opportunities for these young athletes to represent their schools and have to "make the team" which are tremendously important in building self-esteem.

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The Ensign eighth-grade team improved throughout the season. Coach Kari Rush's girls avenged a league loss to Dwyer of Huntington Beach with a three-set upset in the quarterfinals. Playing in the semifinals against No. 1-seeded Sowers (Huntington Beach), the Sea Bees lost in three, 28-26, 23-25, 15-7.

Ensign was led by the setting of Delaney DeCinces, serving and back-row play of Chloe Rettig, as well as the hitting of Claire Covina and Alyssa Sukow. Vivian Donovan was a force in the middle with Lauren Tucker and Bella Crafton contributing off of the bench.

Harbor Day's eighth-grade team had finished second in league. The Harbor Day girls battled with No. 3-seeded Corona del Mar in the semifinals and lost in two. Co-coaches Pam Coleman and Kim Coleman-Story credited the play of Ashley Humphreys, Raleigh Garner and Christina Davenport with the successful season. The coaches also enjoyed the great attitude and hustle of Graysen Airth and Brooke Kenerson.

The Corona del Mar eighth-grade girls had a great run in the tournament. After beating TeWinkle in the quarterfinals, CdM exacted revenge from its earlier league loss by beating Harbor Day, 25-20 and 25-14, in the semifinals. Sowers' eighth-grade girls were too tough for CdM in the finals as they won in two games.

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