"To come back like that in that second set really showed me the heart of this team," said the first-year CdM Coach Marissa Booker, whose squad improved to 31-3 and will face defending-champion Marymount at 4:45 p.m. Saturday at Cypress College in the final.
The third-ranked Breakers appeared to be on their way to evening the match at 1 when they bolted to an early nine-point cushion in the second game behind a combination of hitting miscues by the Sea Kings and a couple of solid kills by freshman outside Alyse Wallace-Ford.
Yet the Sea Kings regained their composure and crept back into the game and eventually tied the score at 19. The teams were tied three more times, the last time at 22 on another kill by Wallace-Ford, before the Sea Kings took the lead for good when junior outside hitter Grace Kennedy sent a shot off Laguna junior middle blocker Julia Goggin. They took the set on a kill by freshman outside hitter Hayley Hodson.
"We were able to take that lead (10-1) due to their passing errors," Stewart said. "They (CdM) settled down and starting passing better, got into a rhythm and went from there. They're a good team."
CdM had strung together a seven-point run in the first game to wipe out 7-6 deficit en route to a 25-20 victory. The Sea Kings never trailed by less than three points after taking a 13-8 lead and led by as many as six points (23-17). The Sea Kings also grabbed a 7-3 lead in the third game on a kill by senior middle blocker Chrissy Watson, but Laguna scored four straight points to take the lead.