Inspired Corona del Mar knocks out Mater Dei


CORONA DEL MAR — Corona del Mar coach Marissa Booker wanted her team to play with passion from the start in its CIF-SS Division 1AA quarterfinal volleyball match Saturday, and that is exactly what she got.

After dropping two matches to Mater Dei earlier this season, the Sea Kings (28-6) defeated the Monarchs in four sets, 25-17, 25-19, 24-26, 25-23, behind 24 kills from sophomore outside hitter Hayley Hodson at Newport Harbor High.

“We came in hungry and excited to play,” Booker said of her team’s energy level throughout the match. “We came in with fire and were ready to go.”

CdM had the Monarchs on their heels from the opening serve, as Hodson began her onslaught, leading the Sea Kings with five first-set kills.

Hodson carried her strong play into the second set, as she picked up six more kills, a service ace, and a key block that helped the Sea Kings cruise to a 2-0 advantage.

In the third game, CdM held a 19-17 lead but couldn’t close out the Monarchs, who were able to rebound after a slow start led by senior setter Sara Hughes and junior outside hitter Frankie Shebby.

Both Hughes and Shebby finished the contest with double-digit kills.

Mater Dei (29-6) took an early lead in the fourth and final set behind a block and two kills from Jaden Pickell, but the Monarchs found themselves unable to sustain the attack.

CdM stormed back behind the play of senior opposite Alexis Cage, who finished with 14 kills. Hodson, meanwhile, finished off another playoff victory with a key service ace and the final kill of the match.

When asked about their strategy going into this contest, Hodson had a simple reply.

“We just wanted to win every point,” she said.

Booker said the two losses to Mater Dei earlier in the season had no bearing on CdM’s preparation.

“We didn’t do anything different,” she said. “We just came in ready to go.”

The Sea Kings move on to face Redondo Union a semifinals match. 

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