CdM advances to tourney final

It seemed all too quiet in the Edison High gym Saturday afternoon.

There was an Orange County Championships Division 1 semifinal being played, but the Corona del Mar High boys' volleyball team made winning look so easy that most conversations could be heard in the stands.

Some people talked about the upsets in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Others made weekend plans. And a few urged Edison to side out.

But the Sea Kings just hummed along, taking out the Chargers, 25-16, 25-12, 25-21. CdM will play against Huntington Beach in the title match Monday at 7 p.m. at Edison.

The sweep was similar to the Sea Kings' season opener, when they beat Edison, 25-16, 25-9, 25-20. But CdM Coach Steve Conti wanted his team to play with urgency because he felt the Chargers had improved since March 11.

"I don't think we really played with a purpose," Conti said. " But I think we finished and we played with efficiency."

The Sea Kings never seemed to be in trouble against Edison, as they improved to 10-1. Their one loss came against Huntington Beach, last week in the semifinals of the Best of the West Tournament in Poway. The Oilers went on to capture the championship.

Huntington Beach took two sets against CdM in the best-of-three format, winning 25-18, 25-18.

Corona del Mar will need to play with a purpose against Huntington Beach on Monday, as the Oilers are ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division 1.

The Sea Kings are ranked No. 3.

They showed that during several moments against Edison.

"I was concerned about us being overconfident," Conti said of the Sea Kings' mentality heading into Saturday's semifinal. "I told them [the Chargers were playing a lot better since the season opener. I also like to think we had gotten better, especially since the way we played in the Best of the West. I thought it was important for us to stay in the moment."

Conti felt good that his team was balanced against Edison. He says the Sea Kings are not about one individual, but their strength is from their overall team performance.

That showed with the statistics.

Joey Martino and Tommy Brooks recorded 10 kills each, while Ryan Moss and Kevin Fults added eight kills each. Matt Ctvrtlik turned in a remarkable effort with 36 assists, five digs, five blocks, five block assists and two kills.

"We just wanted to come in with a lot of energy," Martino said. "We wanted to make sure we didn't let up. We started out kind of slow but once we started to get going, we picked up the energy."

Martino also believes CdM has a talented team.

"Our team is pretty deep," he said. "We have guys on the bench who can come in and do well. We can depend on each other and that's what we do."

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