Saturday marks the inaugural Newport Harbor-Corona del Mar Alumni Volleyball Battle of the Bay at Newport Harbor High.
The girls' match starts at 4 p.m., the boys (1995 and before) will play at 5:30, and the boys (1995 and after) play at 6:30. There will be a reception in the Newport Harbor quad after so that all of the alumni and friends can laugh and "talk story" about the how great everybody was in the old days.
The girls' match promises to feature former Newport Harbor standout April Ross, who is now a phenom on the international beach scene. Also, Anne Yardley (former international beach phenom), Taylor Govaars (Newport Harbor boys' and girls' assistant coach), Bryana Carey, as well as the only mother-daughter team of Mackenzi Campbell (class of 2010) and her mother, Kari Rush.
The former Sea Kings' girls' team has a star-studded lineup, which features Kim Coleman (setter on CdM's two-time national championship teams from the '90s), Monica Park Stewart (coach at Carden Hall and CdM starter on the first CIF championship squad for CdM), Charmayne Conley Olswang (member of state championship team), and Brooke Herrington Truninger (CdM's first state MVP for the 1984 state champs), as well as sisters Tori and Krista Hartling.
The boys' game will feature CdM's Richard Munroe (still in unbelievable shape), Clarke Brogger, Steve Olson, Mike McKibben and Ty Price (CIF Player of the Year for CdM's 1989 CIF champs). No word if CdM Hall of Famer Brian Lewis will play.
Newport has lured Russell Gan (one of the areas most outstanding setters) into action, as well as Adam Schlesinger, Jamie Diefenbach (UCLA volleyball and basketball player), Wes Badorek (the conversation will flow), and Bill Yardley, who later starred at USC and the USA team. There is hope that Denny Cline (the first team at Newport and a UCLA All-American) and Steve Timmons (USC and USA Olympic star) might appear. Also no word if last year's MVP (in his mind) Peter Helfrich can re-kindle the fire.
This is such a novel idea to reunite the rivalry and allow many old friends to catch up. I hope to see as many alumni as possible, with or without knee pads.