CdM downs Laguna Beach for shot at title
LAGUNA BEACH – For the 18th time in school history, the Corona del Mar girls volleyball team is headed to a CIF-Southern Section championship match.
The second-seeded Sea Kings defeated longtime rival Laguna Beach, 25-20, 25-23, 17-25, 25-16, in a hard-fought Division 1A semifinal match before a standing-room-only crowd at Laguna Beach High.
The date and time of the championship match will be announced Wednesday.
Corona del Mar (31-3), which last won the title in 2004 and has won seven championships overall, will face Marymount of Los Angeles.
"We knew it was going to be a battle and it definitely was, going back and forth," first-year Corona del Mar coach Marissa Booker said.
The Sea Kings, behind senior middle blocker Britton Taylor (14 kills, 5 blocks, 2 assists), won the first game, 25-20. But Laguna Beach freshman outside hitter Alyse Wallace-Ford kept the Breakers close with numerous kills. She had 31 for the match.
Kelsey Humphreys (21 assists, 6 digs), freshman Hayley Hodson (16 kills, 8 assists) and junior Grace Kennedy (10 kills, 17 assists) were dominate for Corona del Mar.
The turning point of the contest came late in the second set, with the score tied at 20-20. Senior outside hitter Mary McKennon (26 digs) made a diving dig on the floor to save the point, and Taylor eventually made the kill. The Breakers had an early nine-point lead but couldn't hold on.