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CdM girls’ volleyball edges Sage Hill in 5 sets

Corona del Mar's Sofia Bonanno (10) gets a high-five from Paige Carillo against Sage Hill on Tuesday in Newport Beach.
Corona del Mar’s Sofia Bonanno (10) gets a high-five from Paige Carillo against Sage Hill on Tuesday in Newport Beach.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

A five-set thriller served as an early test of the constitution of two Newport Beach-based high school girls’ volleyball programs, each taking turns to turn the tide in a tilt with several twists.

Corona del Mar emerged victorious Tuesday, spoiling Sage Hill’s home opener with a 17-25, 25-18, 25-11, 24-26, 15-7 win over the Lightning.

With libero Jordan Prince serving to start the fifth set, the Sea Kings rattled off 10 consecutive points to all but clinch the match. Prince dropped in two service aces during that stretch, both coming via short serves.

Corona del Mar's Sabrina Baker hits against Sage Hill's Claire Casey.
Corona del Mar’s Sabrina Baker hits against Sage Hill’s Claire Casey.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“I think Jordan … stepped up a lot because she hasn’t had the opportunity to play, in Hawaii or all season basically, so I think it was pretty cool for her to just step up,” Sea Kings junior outside hitter Reiley Murphy said.

Murphy had a team-leading 14 kills and five aces to lead CdM (4-5), which returned to action after beginning the season in Hawaii at the Ann Kang Invitational, a tournament won by Manhattan Beach Mira Costa. She said the team’s bonding activities on the trip included going to the beach and kayaking.

Edison also competed in the season-opening tournament in Hawaii, going 1-7 with a win over La Jolla Country Day.

Sage Hill's Brooke Thomassen attempts to block a ball from Corona del Mar's Reese Olson.
Sage Hill’s Brooke Thomassen attempts to block a ball from Corona del Mar’s Reese Olson.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Opposite Reese Olson had a well-rounded performance for CdM in Tuesday’s crosstown, nonleague matchup at Sage Hill, supplying eight kills, 14 assists, four aces and two total blocks.

“Reese does a lot for us,” said CdM coach Bailey Humes, who also spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Sage Hill. “She’s one of the players that stays on the court the whole time. She’s a huge offensive threat for us. She’s been running a really good offense for us, too.”

Outside hitter Paige Carillo added seven kills, including one that leveled the contest at a set apiece. Sabrina Baker produced five kills and a block, Hailey Shaw had four kills and a block, and Sofia Bonanno chipped in with three kills and a block. Kaela Hiramoto also distributed 12 assists for CdM.

Sage Hill's Brooke Thomassen, center, celebrates a point with Cydnee Bryant, left, and Soraya Dennis, right, against CdM.
Sage Hill’s Brooke Thomassen, center, celebrates a point with Cydnee Bryant, left, and Soraya Dennis, right, against CdM.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Sage Hill (0-1) took the opening set, getting three kills from both freshman middle blocker Cydnee Bryant and senior outside hitter Sophie Wang, as well as three aces from freshman setter Soraya Dennis in the game.

The response was swift from CdM, which jumped into the lead by convincingly taking the next two sets.

With Bryant in the rotation to start the fourth set, Sage Hill established a 7-2 advantage as the Lightning started down the comeback trail. The Sea Kings drew even at 9-9, and the Lightning had to make some plays without Bryant in the front row to extend the match.

Sage Hill's Brooke Thomassen digs a ball during a season opener against Corona del Mar on Tuesday.
Sage Hill’s Brooke Thomassen digs a ball during a season opener against Corona del Mar on Tuesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

A service error allowed Sage Hill to stave off a match point, and two points later, an ace by Wang sent the fight to the fifth and final set.

“We trust the six people that are on the court to put up a good block and to be disciplined on defense and make plays,” Sage Hill coach Dan Thomassen said. “I think when they got advantage of us is when we started to try to do too much, and our hitters were going for too much. We’re still building that trust and cutting down on mistakes.”

Bryant had 14 kills and two blocks to pace the Lightning in both categories. Outside hitter Brooke Thomassen contributed 10 kills, four aces and 1½ blocks. Freshman opposite Amber Wang had five kills, and sophomore middle blocker Claire Casey had three aces and 1½ blocks. Dennis finished with 25 assists and five aces.

Sage Hill's Cydnee Bryant hits against Corona del Mar's Hailey Shaw during a season opener on Tuesday.
Sage Hill’s Cydnee Bryant hits against Corona del Mar’s Hailey Shaw during a season opener on Tuesday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Corona del Mar and Sage Hill will both compete in the Tesoro Tournament, which will begin Friday with the finals taking place on Monday.

“We’re going to learn a lot about different lineups, but Cydnee’s an immediate impact player,” Dan Thomassen said. “We want to get her the ball when she’s in and use her as a decoy to set other people.”

More girls’ volleyball matches from Tuesday:

Newport Harbor 3, Trabuco Hills 0: Anabel Kotzakov paced the Sailors with 13 kills in a 25-16, 25-15, 25-16 sweep of the Mustangs at home.

Laine Briggs had 11 kills, six digs and five aces for Newport Harbor (1-0), which will play host to Woodbridge on Thursday. Drue Coberly handed out 17 assists, and Zoe Gaa provided three total blocks.

Pacifica Christian Orange County 3, Rowland Heights Southlands Christian 0: Senior middle blocker Rebecca Penjoyan provided 10 kills and eight aces for the host Tritons in their season opener.

Sophomore opposite Chara Wondercheck had nine aces and five kills for Pacifica Christian, which plays at Santa Ana Calvary Chapel on Thursday.

Junior outside hitter Colleen O’Callaghan added seven kills, and sophomore libero London Wilson landed six aces.

Costa Mesa 3, Magnolia 0: Reygan Schneider had five kills and six aces to lead the host Mustangs to a 25-16, 25-8, 25-10 win over the Sentinels in a season opener on the road.

Natasha Ruiz added three kills and five aces.

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