Mira Costa Tops Edison to Finish 22-0 Season
“Unbeatable?” Mira Costa High volleyball Coach Mike Cook asked his team before the season started.
“Unbeaten,” the team answered back Saturday night at Marina High.
Mira Costa, ranked No. 1 in the nation in boys’ volleyball by USA Today all season, proved it belongs there by capturing the Southern Section 4-A Division championship with a 15-6, 15-12, 15-11 victory over Edison Huntington Beach.
With the victory, Mira Costa might have fulfilled the prophecy of senior setter Canyon Ceman, who said before the season that the Mustangs wanted to be “the best high school volleyball team that ever played.”
Cook was asked after the match how perfection felt.
“Perfect,” he said.
The Mustangs (22-0) lost only two games all season--those coming in a preseason victory over Edison in March.
In that match, Mira Costa won the first two games, only to have Edison rally back to tie and turn the match into a three-hour marathon.
It was easier for Mira Costa this time around, however. The Mustangs, who have five starters that are taller than 6-foot-3, played a more physical match than Edison.
Mira Costa won the first five points, three of them on Edison hitting errors.
Mira Costa’s David Swatik, a 6-4 outside hitter that Volleyball Monthly magazine has called the best prep player in the country, put the first game away with a towering block.
Edison (17-2) rallied back to take the first five points of the second game, but Mira Costa’s Brian Thurston started an eight-point run for his team with a kill, and the Mustangs led the rest of the way.
The game ended when Edison’s Steve Snyder missed on a spike attempt.
The third game see-sawed, with Edison pulling even, 9-9, when Pat Ivie’s kill attempt sailed long. But Mike Ashenfelter, Mira Costa’s 6-7 middle blocker, soared high above the net to put down a block to snap the tie.
The Mustangs got their 14th point of the game when Ashenfelter served an ace off the arm of Edison’s Karl van Reusen.
The point that clinched perfection for Mira Costa also came on an ace--Thruston’s spike that van Reusen couldn’t dig.