Mike Sciacca, Coastline
Any time Laguna Beach High takes on archrival Corona del Mar in boys'
volleyball, it's considered a big match.
But, when you add to the mix that the winner possibly could stay in
contention for a portion of the Pacific League title, then the match
takes on even greater significance.
Such is the case tonight when Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar go at it
for the third time this season, this time on the Artists' home floor
before what promises to be a boisterous crowd.
The match is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.
"It's always a pretty big deal when we play CdM and this time, it's no
different," Laguna Beach coach Shawn Patchell said.
It is the rubber match of the season between the schools as both teams
own one victory against the other: Corona del Mar beat Laguna Beach in
last month's Tournament of Champions but on March 26, the Artists dumped
the Sea Kings on their home court in the PCL opener for both teams.
That March 26 victory marked the first time that Laguna Beach had
beaten Corona del Mar in boys' volleyball in the past four matches.
Both teams had league matches scheduled for Wednesday evening and both
trailed defending league champion Northwood by one game in the standings.
The PCL's top three teams also dominated the latest CIF Southern
Section Division IV rankings, with Northwood, Laguna Beach and Corona del
Mar holding down spots two through four, respectively.
"We need to beat CdM in order to stay in contention for a share of the
league title," Patchell said.
Laguna Beach is led by senior defensive specialist and team captain
James Wood, whom Patchell says makes a huge impact on the court; 6-foot-2
middle blocker Mike Chiaverini, the go-to guy in the middle; sophomore
middle blocker Trey Chapel, described by Patchell as the team's steadiest
player, and 6-4 junior outside hitter Matt Anderson, who is the Artists'
team leader in kills nearly every match.
Laguna Beach had won 10 consecutive league championship banners before
Corona del Mar stepped into the Pacific Coast League and preceded to win
the next two titles. Northwood, a newcomer to the league last year,
captured the crown in its first year of competition.
* MIKE SCIACCA is a Times Community News reporter covering sports and
features. He can be reached at (714) 965-7171 or by e-mail at