Most everyone watching the Laguna Beach and Capistrano Valley girls’ volleyball teams in a nonleague match Tuesday night must have considered holding their nose.
Eventually, the second-ranked Artists prevailed over the No. 6 Cougars, 15-17, 15-7, 9-15, 15-10, 15-5. But aside from a few moments of excellence, this one stunk.
“It was ugly,” Laguna Beach Coach Mike Soylular said.
The multiple errors, straying serves, imperfect passing and frequent net violations were as uncharacteristic as they were unattractive for two such highly ranked teams.
“I was disappointed in our execution, it wasn’t there,” Cougar Coach John Gipe said. “We have a huge problem giving up a lot of points at a time when the other team hasn’t done anything to earn them.”
The Cougars looked briefly like a team ready to start a tough South Coast League schedule. They fought back from scores of 8-3 and 12-6 to win the first game, but after taking a 2-1 lead, Capistrano Valley (3-3) self-destructed.
The Artists’ (2-1) jumped to leads of 8-2 and 11-4 before closing out Game 4. In the fifth, Laguna Beach took a 9-5 lead and the Cougars never terribly interested in a comeback.
“It came down to who kept it in the court,” said Hilary Kyle, who led all hitters with 29 kills but acknowledged this wasn’t the same Laguna Beach team that won the Orange County Championship two weeks ago. “We never got on a roll, we never clicked.”
Stephanie Wichmann led Capistrano Valley with 15 kills.