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Hunter powers CdM to O.C. Championships title
HUNTINGTON BEACH – Corona del Mar’s Will Hunter sees all of the attention directed toward him by opponents, and knows he has to stay one step ahead of ther tactics.
The senior middle blocker showed again Monday night that he’s up to the challenge.
Hunter had 14 kills, which he collected using a variety of shots, to lead No. 2 Corona del Mar to a 25-20, 19-25, 15-9 victory over No. 5 Los Alamitos in the Division 1 final of the Orange County Championships at Edison.
“I noticed they’re (the opposition) trying to double-team me,” he said. “Most middles, they hit power, so I’ve been getting a lot better hitting the ball cut back, getting some tips. So I’m not always running the same thing, trying to be unpredictable.”
He was selected MVP of three-day tournament.
“He’s showed up for every single match, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he earned that MVP,” CdM coach Steve Conti said. “There’s a lot of defense focus (on Hunter), but he just finds different ways to score.”
Hunter started things off on the right foot for CdM (10-3), connecting on six kills in the first set.
Los Alamitos (13-3) had a better all-around effort in the second set, extending the match to a third-and-deciding set.
Corona del Mar took the lead for good in the third set on consecutive kills from Sam Kobrine, who finished with eight kills.
“The San Diego tournament (Best of the West) was our first time playing together,” Hunter said of his teammates. “Our main problem was the energy. This tournament, I thought we played with a lot of energy and it helped us a lot.”
Brian Beggs led Los Alamitos with 12 kills. He was selected to the all-tournament team, as was setter Adam Simonetti. Kevin Marshall and Jonathan Frenzel also had key roles in Los Alamitos’ offensive attack.
The Griffins entered Monday’s match having won eight consecutive sets. They swept San Clemente, Santa Margarita, Dana Hills and Edison to advance to the final.
Mitch Haly and Kobrine also earned all-tournament honors for CdM.
Lakewood defeated Crean Lutheran, 28-26, 25-23, in the Division 2 final. Tanner Petchul and Andy McFarlane earned all-tournament honors for the Saints.
MVP - Will Hunter, Corona del Mar
Mitch Haly, Corona del Mar
Sam Kobrine, Corona del Mar
Brian Beggs, Los Alamitos
Adam Simonetti, Los Alamitos
Cody McLaughlin, Tesoro
Connor Lyons, Tesoro
Tyler Power, Edison
Trent Williams, Edison
MVP - Kyle Tufuga, Lakewood
Justin Cayetano, Lakewood
Thomas Hillig, Lakewood
Tanner Petchul, Crean Lutheran
Andy McFarlane, Crean Lutheran
Jonathan Immanuel, Northwood
Declan Holder, Northwood
Connor Leech, El Dorado
James Jorgenson, El Dorado
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