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Complete domination

Laguna Beach polishes off another undefeated run in Orange Coast League and is now 50-0 since joining league five years ago.

November 04, 2010|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
  • Laguna Beach's Mackenzie (37) and Caroline Holte (16) attempt to block a shot Costa Mesa's Amanda Moore during an Orange Coast League match at Laguna High School.
Laguna Beach's Mackenzie (37) and Caroline Holte… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Fifty is nifty.

Hitting that magical number was also quite easy for the Laguna Beach girls' volleyball team.

Wednesday night in Santa Ana, Laguna added to its dominating run in the Orange Coast League during the past five years by cruising past host Saddleback, 25-12, 25-2, 25-16. The one-sided win allowed the Breakers to finish 10-0 en route to another championship while improving to 18-8 overall.

Laguna has now won all 50 matches it has played as a member of the league.

"The girls did a pretty good job this year playing their game, although they weren't pushed too hard in league on the other side of the net," Laguna Coach Lance Stewart said. "Still, we can get better in our mental approach, still get better at serving. There are still ways that we can improve. That's why practice is so important to us. We need to work hard in practice and get those competitive juices flowing."

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Chanel Stewart had 11 kills and six digs, Mackenzie Hester had seven kills and Marina Paul and Avery Bush both had five kills against the Roadrunners. Allison Palmer had 27 assists and six aces.

In a league match played Monday at Dugger Gym, Laguna swept visiting Costa Mesa, 25-8, 25-12, 25-11. Paul had 12 kills and Palmer 29 assists.

Pairings for the 2010 CIF girls' volleyball playoffs will be announced Sunday at the Southern Section office in Los Alamitos. As league champion, Laguna will host its first-round Division 1-A playoff game at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Laguna, ranked fourth in this week's Division 1-A poll, has a good chance of landing one of the top four seeds in the 32-team draw.

Top-ranked Marymount will be the No. 1-seed. Redlands East Valley and Corona del Mar, teams that Laguna defeated in preseason tournament play, are ranked second and third, respectively.

"I think that any of the top eight teams in the division can give anyone a run for their money," Stewart said of next week's Division 1-A tournament. "If we pass the pall and play smart, we are tough to beat. When we don't do that, we can get beat.

"We've been spending a lot of time at practice polishing our fundamentals and working on controlling that first ball. That is the key for us, controlling the first ball. We can't let teams go on big scoring runs."

The CIF division finals will be played Nov. 19-20 at Cypress College. The CIF State Regional opens with first-round action Nov. 23 and the CIF State Regional Championship finals are Nov. 30.

The CIF State Championships are Dec. 4-5 at San Jose State University.

The Breakers have one final tune-up on tap before heading into the postseason. Beginning at 5 p.m. today at Dugger Gym, Laguna holds its annual Alumni Game. The frosh/soph team plays the junior varsity team first, followed by the varsity taking on the school's alumnae.

A silent auction and raffle also will be held and proceeds benefit the girls' volleyball program.

"It's kind of growing in the past few years," Stewart said of the event, which he said is in its fourth year. "We are expecting our biggest turnout yet."

Stewart said that between 12 and 15 alumnae players are expected to participate.

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