Laguna Beach High School played great, then played horrible, then played tough in the clutch to pull out a 15-6, 13-15, 10-15, 15-5, 15-9 victory over host Corona del Mar Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Southern Section 5-A girls’ volleyball playoffs.
Laguna Beach (17-3) capitalized on Corona del Mar mistakes in the first game--Laguna Beach scored 8 points from Sea Kings’ errors--to take a quick 14-4 lead.
After 2 service aces by Corona del Mar’s Krista Hartling, Laguna Beach got the serve back on a kill by Kealy Clarke, and won the game on a Sara Nelson kill.
In Game 2, Corona del Mar jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to have Laguna Beach score 6 straight times. Laguna Beach stretched that lead to 12-7, but Corona del Mar rallied behind the serving of Hartling, who served 2 aces, to score 7 straight times and pull ahead, 14-12, en route to the victory.
Corona del Mar (13-3) came back again in the third game, falling behind, 9-7, only to rally behind Laurie Sawin to win, 15-10. Sawin had 19 kills in the game.
“In the second and third game, our players just stopped talking to each other,” said Lisa Mariotti, Laguna Beach coach.
They started talking again in the fourth game when Laguna Beach crushed Corona del Mar, which plays 5 sophomores.
Laguna Beach jumped out to another big lead in the fifth game, going up 12-4. But Corona del Mar came back again to pull within 12-9. But a service winner by Stacy Trager, a kill by Summer Sieg and a final kill by Sara Nelson--she had 19 in the game--won the game and the match.
“I think our experience really helped us down the stretch,” Mariotti said.
Laguna Beach plays No. 1 seeded Irvine (16-0) in Thursday’s semifinals. Irvine defeated Hueneme, 15-4, 15-3, 15-6.
In 4-A quarterfinal action:
Edison 3, Newbery Park 1--Visiting Edison won, 15-10, 15-12, 2-15, 15-11.
In 4-A quarterfinal tennis action:
Corona del Mar 14, Fountain Valley 4--Second-seeded Corona del Mar (21-1) advanced to Thursday’s semifinal round. Keri Phebus, the Sea Kings’ No. 1 singles player, swept her sets, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0.
In 3-A quarterfinal tennis action:
Foothill 12, South Torrance 6--Host Foothill took 8 of the 9 doubles sets to advance to Thursday’s semifinal round. Joyce Hung and Patricia Ting swept their sets at No. 1 doubles, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, for the Knights (13-6).
Agoura 9, Laguna Hills 9 (Agoura advances on games won, 84-78)--Jenny Marques, Laguna Hills’ No. 1 singles player, swept her sets, 6-1, 6-1, 6-4, but the host Hawks (18-3) fell. Marques finished with a 57-0 record this season.
In 2-A quarterfinal tennis action:
Fullerton 9, Katella 9 (Fullerton advances on games won, 75-71)--Host Fullerton squeaked past Katella as Loraine Lau, the Indians’ No. 1 singles players, swept her sets, 6-1, 6-0, 6-0. Bonnie Massy and Danielle Leon, Fullerton’s No. 1 doubles team, also swept, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6.