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CdM holds off Beckman to reach regional final

STAFF WRITER

The atmosphere had the feel of something much bigger than a Pacific Coast League match as league rivals Corona del Mar and Beckman boys volleyball teams met Thursday night.

CdM won both of the teams’ league matches in three sets, but this time a berth in the CIF SoCal Regional Division I championship match was on the line.

The Sea Kings had to dig a bit deeper to find a way to victory, but they came up with a 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23 win over visiting Beckman (33-7).

CdM (30-6) will face Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach in the final Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Edison High.

“Both teams (CdM and Beckman) are pretty resilient teams and have had a tough road to get here, and had to deal with some adversity along the way,” CdM coach Steve Conti said. “I think that’s what makes both teams pretty strong, and one of the reasons why we’re here right now.”

Just when it appeared CdM was closing in on a third consecutive sweep, the Patriots rallied from a 20-16 deficit in the third set, catching the Sea Kings at 21-21 with an ace by Brayden Wiley.

Later, Spencer Olivier had a kill that gave the Patriots their first set victory (25-23) this season against the Sea Kings.

The fourth set was tied 14 times, including 22-22 on a kill by CdM’s Will Hunter. Matt Ctvrtlik had a block and Sam Kobrine followed with a kill to put CdM on match point.

Kobrine led Sea Kings with 24 kills. Hunter added 13.

“I knew that team was going to be really ready to play tonight,” Conti said of Beckman. “It didn’t matter what happened in league, at this point in the playoffs we’re 0-0 (against each other), but I’m proud of the guys. At times, we let them capture some momentum, but I liked how we were able to finish.”

Spencer Olivier led Beckman with 25 kills. Wiley and Josh Keough had eight and seven, respectively.

“The first couple of times we played these guys, if we dug ourselves a hole, we would just let them run away with it,” Beckman coach Darin McBain said. “Tonight, we fought back and put a little pressure on them.”

In Division III:

Saddleback Valley Christian 3, El Camino of Oceanside 0: The top-seeded Warriors (36-3) advanced to the final with a 25-13, 25-14, 25-15 victory at home.

SVC, which lost in the regional final the past two seasons, will face Jordan of Los Angeles on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Edison.

Contact the writer: dcalhoun@ocregister.com


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