NEWPORT BEACH – Whether it’s on the baseball diamond or on the football field, in the water or in the gym, Corona del Mar vs. Newport Harbor competition brings out the best from their high school athletes.
That’s how it went Wednesday when the Sea Kings and Sailors boys volleyball teams met Wednesday at Newport Harbor High.
Newport Harbor won in four sets, 36-34, 26-24, 20-25, 25-15, of a thoroughly entertaining Surf League match.
“It doesn’t get much better than beating those guys over at CdM,” said Newport Harbor senior setter Cole McKibben.
Newport Harbor, No. 7 in the CIF Southern Section’s combined Divisions 1 and 2 rankings, is 17-4 overall and 2-0 in league. The Sailors also have Surf League a win over Huntington Beach.
Corona del Mar, No. 3 in the Division 1/2 rankings, is 9-5 overall and 0-1 in league.
— Steve Fryer (@SteveFryer) March 24, 2022
Newport Harbor junior outside hitter Jake Read had 30 kills. Sailors sophomore Riggs Guy had 16 kills.
James Eadie, a Sailors senior who signed with Pepperdine, had 15 kills as did UCLA-committed junior Luca Curci, who also delivered six service aces. Sean McCarthy contributed 10 digs for Newport Harbor.
Battles at the net were fierce. Players made seemingly impossible diving digs.
Newport Harbor twice had three-point leads in the marathon first set. Corona del Mar senior Jake Olson, Pepperdine-committed junior George Bruening and sophomore Sterling Foley came through over and over with clutch points to keep Newport Harbor from winning it until the set reached its 70th point. The Sailors put together 8-3 and 5-0 runs in that one.
Corona del Mar had a 23-20 lead in the second set. Back-to-back kills by Guy closed out the Sailors’ 26-24 win to make it 2-0 in sets.
The Sea Kings dominated the third set, leading by as many as eight points, before taking the 25-20 win.
Newport Harbor regained control in the fourth set in which the Sailors led from the start for a 25-15 win to celebrate its 3-1 match victory.
“In that fourth set we finally found our groove,” said Newport Harbor coach Eric Vallely. “We talk endlessly about taking advantage of those opportunities and to not give the other team another set.”
Newport Harbor plays a league match at Laguna Beach on Thursday. Corona del Mar plays a league match Friday at Huntington Beach.