High Schools: Sailors facing big week

The Newport Harbor High girls' volleyball team hits the road again to face a top-10 CIF Southern Section Division I-AA team.

Five days after sweeping defending section champion Long Beach Poly, the fifth-ranked Sailors play at No. 8 Santa Margarita on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Last week's match between the Sailors and Jackrabbits featured the past two section champions.

The next contest for Newport Harbor is against the 2008 section champ, Santa Margarita.

The Eagles won their opener against then-No. 9 Santa Barbara. The match went the distance.

Another five-set match may be in the works.

Coach Dan Glenn, who is in his 26th season with the Sailors, has two senior standouts in USC-bound Cinnamon Sary and Alex Holbrook.

The Sailors have a tough schedule early on. After Tuesday, they play host to Laguna Beach on Thursday and rival Corona del Mar on Saturday.

The Battle of the Bay against the Sea Kings is usually played at the end of the regular season, after both teams have concluded league play, but the rivalry match is earlier this year.

Glenn coached CdM's first-year coach, Marissa Booker, before she graduated in 1999. Booker helped the Sailors claim CIF Southern Section Division I-AA and CIF State Division I titles.

Booker has CdM off to a fast start.

The Sea Kings not only upset Mater Dei last week, they swept the Monarchs, who went into the match ranked fifth in Division I-AA. CdM prevailed, 25-20, 25-10, 25-18, and Booker's team hasn't dropped a set in its first two matches.

The Sea Kings are still No. 2 in the Division I-A poll, behind Marymount of Los Angeles. Marymount is the defending section champion.

The first road test for CdM is Tuesday at No. 3 Laguna Beach at 5:45 p.m. The rival schools usually play each year, and there is one player, Hayley Hodson, who lived in Laguna Beach before she transferred to CdM as a freshman.

The 6-foot-2 outside hitter is contributing right away at CdM. Laguna Beach Coach Lance Stewart, who led the Sea Kings in the early 1990s to two section titles in three seasons, could have used Hodson.

For those looking forward to the Battle of the Bay in football on Sept. 23, the site of this year's rivalry game isn't Newport Harbor High.

The Sea Kings play their home games at Davidson Field, but they're the home team against the Sailors and they want a home-field edge. The game is at Orange Coast College.

"We don't want to play our opponent at their stadium," CdM Coach Scott Meyer said. "I think [OCC is] a great venue for the kids and for the fans as well."

Newport Harbor Coach Jeff Brinkley prefers the Battle of the Bay to be played at Newport Harbor, but he understands why CdM chose a different stadium.

"It's in our backyard," said Brinkley, whose Sailors have won the last four games against CdM and own the series, 36-13.

"We've got the best [high school] stadium around [the county], in terms of a home and visitor side. I'll put this stadium up against anybody."

The CIF Southern Section boys' and girls' cross country polls are out and three local teams made the top 10 in their respective divisions.

The CdM girls are No. 2 in Division III.

Sage Hill's girls are No. 9 in Division V.

Sage's boys are No. 8 in Division V.

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