NEWPORT BEACH — Confusion mounted early in the match Friday night at Newport Harbor High.
Girls' teams for the Dave Mohs Memorial Orange County High School Volleyball All-Star Games wore green and blue shirts, but identifying the players proved somewhat tricky as there were no jersey numbers on the front.
The only number on front was "33," in recognition of 2010 being the 33rd year the annual matches have been put on. If the Back Bay players from the South wore that green "33" shirt at Staples Center this week, it might get ugly.
But the match was all about fun. The Newport Harbor quartet of Kirby Burnham (bound for USC), Mackenzi Campbell (Montana State), Katey Thompson and Kelly Heenan (both UC Santa Barbara) had plenty of it. So did their South teammates, including Madie Smith (UCLA), Amanda Nickel (Brown) and Sydney Brombal (Princeton).
They also came out as winners, taking all three sets of the match, 25-21, 25-23, 15-11.
Every local girl in the match got significant time in the match, minus Brombal, who was in attendance but out sick.
"It was fun to play with girls from clubs like Laguna, Golden West, Surf City," Thompson said. "It's people you've been playing against all four years. Like, we finally got to play in a high school match against CdM. That was fun. We play on club together. Our South team was like our whole [club] team from last year."
The all-star matches also afforded the CdM girls the opportunity to play with a nemesis over the years, Lydia Bai of Beckman. Bai, who had a match-high seven kills and was named match MVP, has been a rival for the Pacific Coast League title the past two years as well as in CIF.
CdM's Darryl Gan and Beckman's Darren McBain were the two South coaches.
Smith, one of three setters on the South squad, helped enable some of those monstrous kills for her future Pac-10 opponent; Bai is heading to Stanford.
"She was really fun to play with, actually," Smith said. "For me, it was really fun to set her."
Burnham also brought the heat from the outside hitter spot.
She and Thompson, who helped lead the Sailors to the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA and State Division I titles last fall, both finished with five kills for the South.