CdM jolted early, but knocks off Newport Harbor


NEWPORT BEACH - The start of the season brings a new set of goals for the Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor girls volleyball teams.

The first goal for both is always the same: Win the Battle of the Bay and city bragging rights.

Wednesday night, that’s what the third-ranked Corona del Mar did, winning the match against rival Newport Harbor, 18-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22.

“More than anything, this game is probably one of the most important games that I’ll ever play in high school,” Sea Kings senior Jessie Harris said. “I just want to go out knowing that we played our best, gave it 110 percent, and I think if we play our best, we’re going to beat teams like that.”

It took CdM (8-1) a set or two find its best against the host Sailors.

Newport Harbor opened the match with a strong effort in the opening set, shocking Corona del Mar a bit.

Before the start of the second set, Harris spoke to the team before Coach Steve Astor did.

“I told everybody that we needed to play our game and we had to focus on our side of the court,” said Harris, a third-team All-County setter last season. “I think everyone was a little pepped with the crowd, and they (the Sailors) were giving everything they had at us.

“We just needed to calm down and play our game.”

After taking the second set, CdM used a late 7-1 run in the third to steal that set and take control of the match.

“The key for us was going to be trust in each other and trust of our system,” Astor said. “We didn’t really do that in set one, and Newport came out and played really well and forced us to play like we didn’t want to play, and we started scrambling a little bit mentally.

“The Battle of the Bay, for some people, can be overwhelming the first few points. Jessie (Harris) helped calm them down and we got our confidence back.”

Newport Harbor tried to force a fifth and deciding set, staying within striking distance in the fourth set. Corona del Mar had a 23-22 lead, and a kill and a block from Kendall Kipp sealed the match.

Harris led the Sea Kings with 11 kills, Natalia Bruening had 10 and Kipp added nine.

Remy Wilson led the Sailors with 14.

“We fought really hard and I was happy about that,” Newport Harbor coach Dan Glenn said. “You can’t make unforced errors, especially late in games.”

In other nonleague action:

No. 2 Huntington Beach 3, Long Beach Wilson 1: Kierra Pearson and Camryn Sanchez led the Oilers (11-2) with 18 and 17 kills, respectively, in the 22-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-22 home victory.

Anna Carroll added eight kills and four blocks.

No. 5 Aliso Niguel 3, University 0: McKenna Ross had 16 kills and nine digs and Kathryn Plummer had 11 kills, four blocks, 14 assists and four digs as the Wolverines (7-1) swept the visiting Trojans, 25-13, 25-14, 25-20.

No. 6. Mater Dei 3, Foothill 0: Makena Martin had nine kills and Rachel Ritchie added eight with eight digs in the 25-17, 25-13, 25-19 home victory.

Shannon Scully had five kills and 14 digs.

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