CdM swept again

SANTA ANA — Mater Dei High girls' volleyball Coach Adam Cutrell saw his team fall behind Corona del Mar in each of the first two sets of Wednesday night's nonleague match.

Cutrell kept coaching, but never called a timeout. He let the Monarchs figure things out themselves.

"It just takes a little bit of time for them to get into rhythm," Cutrell said. "Stopping and talking through things doesn't really help them. If anything, I'll get off the bench and talk to them and make a sub, but calling a timeout never really helps them too much. It's kind of different, I know. It took me a little bit of time to get used to, but every time we'd call a timeout before, we'd give up even more points."

The Sea Kings could not hold the leads in either set. By the end of them, it was Corona del Mar Coach Marissa Booker who was burning timeouts.

Mater Dei swept Corona del Mar, 25-22, 25-23, 25-14, at Mater Dei High.

Two matches into the year, Corona del Mar (0-2) has yet to win a set.

The competition has been tough, as CdM was swept by Los Angeles Marymount, ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division 1-AA, in its season opener on Sept. 6.

Mater Dei (2-0) is ranked No. 6 in Division 1-AA. CdM is No. 8.

The Sea Kings had trouble when Mater Dei got junior outside hitter Frankie Shebby going midway through the first set. Shebby finished with a match-high 18 kills.

She helped her team overcome an 18-12 deficit in that opening set. Late in the set things started going awry for the Sea Kings.

With the score at 22-22, CdM was unable to return a serve by Mater Dei senior setter Sara Hughes that clipped the net.

Then a kill attempt down the line went wide, and suddenly the Monarchs had a set point. They converted it on a block.

Corona del Mar used three straight kills from sophomore Hayley Hodson to claim an 8-3 lead in set two. But again, Cutrell didn't call timeout and again, the Sea Kings could not hold the lead.

Mater Dei battled back to 22-22 before two kills by Shebby gave the Monarchs a set point at 24-23. The Monarchs converted it on a hitting error by the Sea Kings.

Hughes, who has committed to USC for sand volleyball, helped put Mater Dei in line for the sweep. She served nine straight points as Mater Dei padded its lead in set three to 12-2, before CdM senior Grace Kennedy got a kill to stop the bleeding.

But CdM could never get closer than six points after that.

"Once we got cooking, we didn't stop," Cutrell said. "And then I was happy to see in Game 3, we [played] all the way through, which is what we're supposed to do. Those slow starts are going to kill me."

CdM again played without senior Alexis Cage, who has been recovering from a recent surgery.

Hodson led the Sea Kings with 11 kills, while Kennedy had six and senior opposite Megan Griffin added five.

Both teams head to Las Vegas this weekend for the Durango Fall Classic. The competition will not necessarily get easier for CdM. The Sea Kings are in a pool with Galena High of Reno, as well as El Dorado, which is ranked No. 3 in Division 1-A.

Corona del Mar opens its tournament against Galena on Friday at 3 p.m.

Twitter: @mjszabo

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