Newport Harbor High girls' volleyball coach Dan Glenn says his team is still trying to find its identity.
That's a scary thought, considering the Sailors are off to a 7-1 start and will play for the Dave Mohs Tournament championship Monday at 7 p.m. at Edison High.
Newport Harbor has won seven straight since dropping its season opener. On Saturday, the Sailors beat four teams to advance to Monday's final, in which they'll play against Sunset League foe Los Alamitos.
The Tars opened the day with a 25-20, 25-22 victory over Mission Viejo to win their pool at Newport Harbor. Maddy Brown had five kills and Cinnamon Sary had 18 assists.
The Sailors then beat Bakersfield (25-15, 25-21), Orange Lutheran (25-13, 25-20) and Long Beach Poly (25-18, 27-29, 15-13) at Edison.
Glenn enjoyed the quarterfinal victory over Orange Lutheran because the Sailors were on their game, playing with speed and executing with accurate passing. They also served well, Glenn said, and Sary fed the ball to Alex Holbrook and Lauren Demos consistently.
"We're still figuring out who we are," said Glenn, who guided Newport Harbor to a CIF State Division I title and Southern Section Division I-AA championship last year. "We have such a long way to go. The best thing we did today is that we competed. When you lose people like Kirby Burnham, Kelly Heenan, Katey Thompson and Mackenzi Campbell, it's tough. Those are four of the best competitors I've ever had. We knew we would miss their hitting and the way they play, but I didn't know if we could replace their competitiveness."
Glenn said he saw the competitiveness Saturday. Newport avenged its season-opening loss to Poly.
Sarah Buckingham led the Sailors with nine kills against Bakersfield, when Holbrook had seven kills, Brown had five kills, Sary had 21 assists and Tatum Norton added eight digs.
Norton also had eight digs against Orange Lutheran, while Holbrook led with nine kills and Brown had seven kills. Sary had 19 assists and four kills.
Sary had 22 assists in the semifinal win over the Jackrabbits. Holbrook and Brown had nine kills each, while Buckingham had five kills, Norton nine digs and Demos three aces.
Dave Mohs Tournament
Corona del Mar was defeated in the quarterfinals by top-seeded Long Beach Poly, 25-15, 25-16, at Edison High Saturday to finish tied for fifth.
The Sea Kings defeated Mater Dei, 21-25, 25-16, 15-10, in the quarterfinals Saturday at Edison, after falling to San Clemente, 25-18, 27-25, in the finale of pool play earlier at CdM.
Senior libero Katelyn Baker had 34 combined digs in the three matches for the Sea Kings (4-3).
Senior Hailey Senske had eight kills against Mater Dei, against which junior Britton Taylor, senior Morgan Boukather and senior Claire Ham had six blocks apiece.
COSTA MESA — Costa Mesa High junior Robert Blackwell finished 18th in the boys' junior race to help the Mustangs finish 12th Saturday at Estancia High.
Blackwell finished in 16 minutes, 18 seconds on the three-mile course. Hunter Strodel led the Costa Mesa girls, finishing 70th in 20:20 in the girls' senior race.
Sage Hill: Alemar Brito led the Lightning, finishing 54th in 17:16, a personal best, in the senior boys' race. Brennan Hicks was 63rd in 17:51, a personal best, in the sophomore boys' race, while Chris Andras was 69th in 17:58.
Rannah Dabiri (162nd in 22:34) led the Sage Hill girls, who finished 29th in the Division IV varsity race.