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Artists take on Corona del Mar

April 19, 2002

Mike Sciacca, Coastline

Any time Laguna Beach High takes on archrival Corona del Mar in boys'

volleyball, it's considered a big match.

But, when you add to the mix that the winner possibly could stay in

contention for a portion of the Pacific League title, then the match

takes on even greater significance.

Such is the case tonight when Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar go at it

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for the third time this season, this time on the Artists' home floor

before what promises to be a boisterous crowd.

The match is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.

"It's always a pretty big deal when we play CdM and this time, it's no

different," Laguna Beach coach Shawn Patchell said.

It is the rubber match of the season between the schools as both teams

own one victory against the other: Corona del Mar beat Laguna Beach in

last month's Tournament of Champions but on March 26, the Artists dumped

the Sea Kings on their home court in the PCL opener for both teams.

That March 26 victory marked the first time that Laguna Beach had

beaten Corona del Mar in boys' volleyball in the past four matches.

Both teams had league matches scheduled for Wednesday evening and both

trailed defending league champion Northwood by one game in the standings.

The PCL's top three teams also dominated the latest CIF Southern

Section Division IV rankings, with Northwood, Laguna Beach and Corona del

Mar holding down spots two through four, respectively.

"We need to beat CdM in order to stay in contention for a share of the

league title," Patchell said.

Laguna Beach is led by senior defensive specialist and team captain

James Wood, whom Patchell says makes a huge impact on the court; 6-foot-2

middle blocker Mike Chiaverini, the go-to guy in the middle; sophomore

middle blocker Trey Chapel, described by Patchell as the team's steadiest

player, and 6-4 junior outside hitter Matt Anderson, who is the Artists'

team leader in kills nearly every match.

Laguna Beach had won 10 consecutive league championship banners before

Corona del Mar stepped into the Pacific Coast League and preceded to win

the next two titles. Northwood, a newcomer to the league last year,

captured the crown in its first year of competition.

* MIKE SCIACCA is a Times Community News reporter covering sports and

features. He can be reached at (714) 965-7171 or by e-mail at

michael.sciacca@latimes.com.

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