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Mustangs Defeated in Varsity Classic

In the long run, Saturday’s Redondo/Mira Costa Varsity Classic means little to the Mira Costa Volleyball team, win or lose.

The Mustangs were eliminated from the tournament in the quarterfinal round by dropping a 16-14 decision to Newport Harbor after winning four straight matches to get there.

Despite the loss, the tournament was very important for the Mustangs, who are ranked No.1 in the CIF Southern Section 4-A Division after compiling a perfect 15-0 overall record and a 10-0 mark in the Ocean League.

The 25-team tournament, which was held at Redondo High, provided the Mustangs with their biggest challenge of the season but the results were less than encouraging for coach Mike Cook.

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Corona del Mar, a team that trails the Mustangs in the 4-A Division at No. 4, defeated Loyola (4-A, No.7) by scores of 15-8, 15-12 for the title.

“This is a great tournament and there’s a lot of competition,” said Cook, whose team now looks forward to the start of the playoffs on May 12. “Anything can happen in a one-game playoff and we made a few too many errors.”

The Mustangs built a 6-3 lead before hitting three straight balls out of bounds to allow Newport Harbor back into the match.

“We had a good lead and all of a sudden we hit three nice sets out of bounds,” said Cook. “We have too much talent to keep doing that, but this tournament doesn’t really mean anything to us; we’ll be all right.”

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The only other local team to advance past the pool play besides Mira Costa was Palisades, which was also eliminated in the quarterfinals.


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