Edison girls’ volleyball fends off upset bid from CdM

Edison's Molly McCluskey (2) scores past Corona del Mar's Sofia Dajnowiec (18) and Hailey Shaw (11) on Wednesday.
Edison’s Molly McCluskey (2) scores past Corona del Mar’s Sofia Dajnowiec (18) and Hailey Shaw (11) in a Sunset Conference crossover match on Wednesday.
(James Carbone)

It was getting late early for the Edison girls’ volleyball team, down two sets and deep in the hole in the third when its senior pin hitters began to find the range.

The Chargers trailed by as many as six points in the third set, and they were eight points from defeat at Corona del Mar when back-to-back kills by Summer Witherby breathed life back into the team.

Edison had closed the gap to 17-15. Three kills in a four-point span by Adia McCown set up Witherby’s match-extending strike to end the third.


Edison's Sophie Vienna (22) taps the ball over the net against Corona del Mar on Wednesday.
(James Carbone)

McCown and Witherby each recorded 19 kills, as the Chargers went on to complete a backdoor sweep of the Sea Kings 20-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-5 on Wednesday in a Sunset Conference crossover match.

“We get off to these slow starts, and we kind of dig ourselves in a hole,” Edison coach Elias Perez said. “Luckily, we got those seniors to kind of wake up in that third set. I think it was kind of just a matter of us bettering the ball the whole night. … If it wasn’t a great pass, we were trying too much with the set. If the set’s not quite there, we were trying to do a little too much. I think we found our rhythm late.”

Opposite Molly McCluskey chimed in with 15 kills, two total blocks and two service aces for Edison (10-8), which is ranked ninth in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 and 2 combined poll.

Corona del Mar's Sofia Dajnowiec (18) goes up for a kill against Edison on Wednesday.
(James Carbone)

Morgan Gillinger made her presence felt in the middle with five kills, four total blocks and two aces. Setter Sophie Vienna had 52 assists and two block assists.

As the comeback commenced, Perez was dealt a yellow card in the fourth set after he contested a call that a ball ruled out had not been touched by a CdM player.

“I told them, ‘I’m willing to fight for you guys about something like that. I’m hoping that you guys are willing to fight just the same,’” Perez said. “I thought that kind of got us going a little bit, and that’s credit to the girls for kind of stepping up and having some attitude.”

Corona del Mar's Kirsten Dauderman (1) reacts after a score against Edison on Wednesday.
(James Carbone)

The Chargers responded in kind. No moment was more symbolic of their fight than when Ava King crashed into a tripod at the back wall retrieving a ball. Playing effectively with five players on its side of the net for the remainder of the point, Edison forced a hitting error from the Sea Kings to take a 20-17 lead in the fourth and reward King’s effort. Perez lauded King’s hustle and said she was “totally good” after the collision.

“I thought that was very good,” Witherby said of King’s scrambling. “She was all-in for the point, was very aggressive and went for everything.”

Edison plays host to Newport Harbor (8-9) for its Surf League opener on Friday.

Reiley Murphy had 20 kills and 10 digs to lead Corona del Mar (10-8). Eva Link produced 40 assists and 14 digs. Sofia Dajnowiec contributed nine kills and 10 digs, Hailey Shaw pounded out eight kills, and Molly Machoskie and Lauren Esquino each had six kills for the Sea Kings. Libero Kirsten Dauderman had 16 digs.

Corona del Mar's Summer Witherby (2) serves against Corona del Mar on Wednesday.
(James Carbone)

Corona del Mar coach Bailey Humes said she hoped the loss would serve as fuel to a fire for her team. The Sea Kings will look for such a response with Wave League play beginning Friday at Marina (13-7).

“I think we got a little complacent being up 2-0 and didn’t take care of all the things we needed to take care of, started making too many errors, and just let them go on some runs that in the first two sets we were eliminating,” Humes said.

Corona del Mar's Sofia Dajnowiec (18) tries to score against Edison's Sophie Vienna (22) and Audrey Carevich (15).
Corona del Mar’s Sofia Dajnowiec (18) tries to score against Edison’s Sophie Vienna (22) and Audrey Carevich (15) on Wednesday.
(James Carbone)