Girls' Volleyball: Booker has CdM ready

Corona del Mar High Coach Marissa Booker was neither surprised or bothered that her girls' volleyball team did not land one of the top four seeds in the CIF Southern Section Division 1-AA playoffs.

She has confidence the Sea Kings (25-6) can compete with any of the top four seeds – Redondo Union (32-3), Marymount (28-5), Los Alamitos (29-3), Mater Dei (28-5) – which were learned Saturday when the playoff pairings were released.

"I'm not upset about it; it's just one of the things," Booker said. "It's just about, if there is another competitor on the other side you're going to do your best against them. That's what we'll do. We're still getting better and better every day. I feel very confident about the team going into the playoffs. I feel that we're going to continue to get better as the playoffs go on."

Sage Hill School was the lone team of the four Newport-Mesa area squads to grab a top-four seed, as the Lightning took the No. 3 seed in Division 3-A.

CdM, the Pacific Coast League champion, will play host to Temecula Valley (17-9), the Southwestern League's third-place team, Tuesday at 7 p.m. If the Sea Kings win they would play the winner of Lakewood (20-8) and Dos Pueblos (14-13) in the second round Thursday.

Newport Harbor (20-10), which finished third in the Sunset League, plays at Marlborough (13-13) in Los Angeles Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Mustangs finished second in the Sunshine League. The winner plays at No. 1 Redondo Union (32-3), the Bay League champ, in the second round.

"We have a tough road ahead of us but an exciting road," Booker said.

The area teams are excited to compete in the playoffs.

Sage Hill (22-6), which won the Division 4-AA title last year, plays host to Western Christian (12-10), the Ambassador League's third-place team, Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The Lightning finished in a second-place tie with Crean Lutheran in the Academy League. Sage Hill endured a rough two-match stretch in one week, losing to Crean in five sets Oct. 16, and falling to champion St. Margaret's Oct. 19 in three sets. St. Margaret's is the top seed in Division 3-A.

Coach Dan Thomassen said his team has responded with great practices and the Lightning have found motivation to improve since suffering the two losses.

Before the regular season ended Sage Hill finished second in the Chadwick tournament.

"We got off to a hot start this season," Thomassen said. "Our expectations were high, but then we finished in a tie for second in league, which was a bit of disappointment. We're excited to be the No. 3 seed. We have a home playoff match and it's a good way to start. Hopefully we can make another deep run in the playoffs."

Estancia (12-8) will try to get out of the first round for the first time under Coach Paul Muñoz, who is in his third year.

The Eagles, who finished second in the Orange Coast League, play host to Bishop Montgomery (19-13), the Del Rey League's third-place team, in a Division 1-A first-round match Tuesday at 7 p.m. The winner plays against the winner of Canyon (19-9) at Ayala (21-9).

St. Lucy's (22-6), the Sierra League champ, is the top seed.

"At this point in the season everything is great," Muñoz said. "We are focusing on the competition on the team and between the players to get better. We're stoked. We believe this is the best opportunity for us to get past the first round. It's a good time for us."

Twitter: @SteveVirgen

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