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CdM, Huntington Beach advance to final

STAFF WRITER

HUNTINGTON BEACH – The Corona del Mar boys volleyball team has to play catch up to everyone else, but things are headed in the right direction.

When the volleyball season began, several key players were still in the CIF-SS basketball playoffs.

The quintet of Matt Ctvrtlik, Kevin Fults, Mitch Haly, Sam Kobrine and Ryan Moss finally arrived at volleyball practice last Monday and despite not having any quality practice time, they’re fitting in nicely. CdM (10-3) won its pool and went 2-0 in the playoff bracket to advance to Monday’s final of the Orange County Championships.

“I think they were a little frazzled and I asked them if they wanted the day off (Monday), but they decided they wanted to practice Monday to get ready for Laguna (Beach) on Tuesday,” CdM coach Steve Conti said. “I still think, physically and mentally, they were a little fatigued. It was a real long season, an outstanding season for them. We’ve only had a couple of practices together, but each time we step on the court, we’re starting to look a little bit better.”

CdM will face Huntington Beach in the Division 1 finals on Monday at Edison High at approximately 7:15 p.m.

CdM completed pool play with a 27-25, 25-14 victory over Foothill. In the championship quarterfinals, Moss led the way with 13 kills in a 25-14, 25-27, 15-9 victory over Los Alamitos.

In the semifinals, Augie Miller led the Sea Kings with eight kills, followed by Moss (seven) and Fults (five) in a 25-17, 25-19 victory over San Clemente at Edison.

“It is definitely different to have no preseason (in volleyball) and to come straight in is tough,” Moss said. “But we’ve played a lot and I think we’re jelling really fast for the circumstances, and hopefully we can reach our potential by the end of the season.”

The Sea Kings went 3-3 at the Best of the West tournament last weekend and have six consecutive victories since the return of the basketball group.

“When we’re playing well, we’re playing at a really high level,” Conti said. “What we need to do is to be able to get into the gym and build some consistency to where we can hopefully sustain that high level of play. There are still some stretches where we give up a run of points, but I’m pretty confident that over time, we’ll be able to shore that up a little bit.”

Huntington Beach swept through pool play and defeated Newport Harbor, 25-16, 25-14, and Dana Hills, 25-19, 25-15, to advance to the final. The Oilers have won 82 consecutive matches.

Woodbridge will face Francis Parker in the Division 2 final at 6 p.m. on Monday, also at Edison.

Contact the writer: dcalhoun@ocregister.com


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