CdM struggles, but earns win over Laguna Beach


NEWPORT BEACH - This early in the season, the fifth-ranked Corona del Mar boys volleyball team can be considered a work in progress.

The Sea Kings are without their starting setter, Matt Ctvrtlik (ankle injury), and have a lot of inexperienced sophomores getting accustomed to the varsity way of life.

All of the new pieces worked well enough to lead Corona del Mar to a 25-18, 16-25, 25-19, 25-19 victory over visiting Laguna Beach.

“I don’t know if we played the type of volleyball that we’re capable of playing,” CdM coach Steve Conti said. “I think in game two, Laguna had something to do with that, but I think we’re capable of being a little bit more efficient … We had a lot of unforced errors, untimely service errors. Energywise we were pretty flat and quiet tonight.”

Senior Will Hunter led the Sea Kings (5-3) with 12 kills. Sophomores Brandon Bowning and Kevin Kobrine had nine and six kills, respectively. Sam Kobrine had nine and Mitch Haly chipped in five kills.

Sophomore setter Patrick Paragas (13 assists) and senior Shane Gooding (11 assists) ran the offense.

“The good news is we have some young kids out here too and I think they did a good job,” Conti said. “Brandon Browning had a good match for us. Kevin Kobrine, we’re trying to get him to be a little bit more aggressive and I think he was tonight and he was able to block some balls.”

The match was the first one since CdM finished tied for last (15th place) in the Gold Division at the Best of the West Invitational.

“We just need to be more consistent,” Conti said. “I knew it was going to be a process. We have a lot of sophomores up here and they’re getting playing time, but we have to grow up at some point here.”

Laguna Beach has started the season with four consecutive losses.

“It is going to be a process for us,” Laguna Beach coach Darren Utterback said. “But I did see a little bit of a bright spot. I thought Pete (Obradovich) and Cole (Paxson) were impressive, and hopefully our younger kids will start to follow them.”

Laguna Beach was without senior middle blocker Tyler Alter (ankle injury).

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