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BILL ALKOFER, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Corona del Mar's Matt Ctvrlik and Augie Miller go up for a block during their game against Mater Dei on Thursday.

CdM gets rolling, sweeps Mater Dei

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Ryan Moss realizes momentum means everything when trying to piece together a robust postseason run.

So when his Corona del Mar boys volleyball squad started out slow Thursday night, Moss and the Sea Kings stepped up and solved the problem.

“Momentum is great in the playoffs,” he said. “It feels good to win, but on any night we know the other team can play the best match of their lives. We have to be ready.”

Corona del Mar overcame the sluggishness to sweep host Mater Dei, 25-22, 25-20, 25-14, in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs.

The Sea Kings will host Westlake in a quarterfinal matchup Saturday.

Corona del Mar (26-6) has won its last seven matches without a losing a set.

“We definitely finished stronger than we started tonight,” Sea Kings coach Steve Conti said.

“We looked a little shaky (to start), and we had a lot of unforced errors. There shouldn’t be nerves. We’ve played in too many big matches.”

Moss, a USC-bound senior, registered 13 kills and two blocks. Matt Ctvrtlik distributed 29 assists, and Augie Miller added eight kills.

After struggling with their passing in the first set, the Sea Kings benefited from back-to-back blocks from Ctvrtlik early in the second set to jump out to a 5-0 advantage. Mater Dei (21-9), tied it at 15-15, but Corona del Mar never wavered.

Implementing every inch of their towering front row, the Sea Kings used a perfectly placed set from Ctvrtlik to help stage Moss’ set-clinching kill.

“We got off to a good start in game two and all of sudden it was tied,” Conti said. “But we came back and played with some poise. One thing this team doesn’t do is get rattled.”

Moss, the six-foot-seven outside hitter, played a pivotal role in the deciding third set. Powered by a reinvigorated attack, Moss supplied five kills to key a match-ending 11-3 run. Miller added five kills in the set.


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