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High School Roundup: Breakers score big win over CdM

Laguna Beach sweeps Sea Kings to score first win over them since 2008.

March 21, 2013|By Mike Sciacca

This one was sweet for the Laguna Beach High boys' volleyball team.

In a week that had them going up against top-notch competition, which included playing six matches in eight days, the Breakers took on longtime rival Corona del Mar in nonleague play Wednesday at Dugger Gym. In what Coach Scott Panaro said was a inspired team effort, the Breakers took a sweep from the Sea Kings.

Laguna's 25-20, 25-15, 25-19 victory gave the Breakers their first win against Corona del Mar since 2008. Two weeks ago, Laguna swept Newport Harbor ((27-25, 26-24, 25-17) on the road on March 6. That win marked the first time since 1997 that Laguna had defeated the Sailors in a best-of-five match.

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With Wednesday's win, Laguna defeated both the Sea Kings and Sailors in a best-of-five match in the same season for the first time since 1990, and swept (3-0) both rivals for the first time since 1982.

The Breakers entered the match ranked second in CIF Southern Section Division 2. The Sea Kings were No. 10 in Division 1.

Laguna (5-3) now leads the series with Corona del Mar, which started in 1974, 30-23.

"I thought this was a really great team performance," Laguna Coach Scott Panaro said of Wednesday's win. "We had a lot of guys contributing and our setter [Grifan Fair] was able to distribute the ball to all our hitters and got everyone involved. We did a nice job serving and with our passing game, and our kills distribution also was very good."

Fair, a senior, finished with 32 assists and had two kills. Senior outside hitter Weston Barnes led in kills with 11, senior opposite Jackson Pries had nine kills, junior middle blocker Noah Blanton eight kills, junior outside hitter Jack Wyett seven kills, and senior middle blocker Maxx McCarter four kills.

"This [win] was really a big deal for our seniors," Panaro said. "This is something they really wanted, and they earned it."

The Breakers competed last weekend at the Orange County Championships where they posted a 2-2 record and finished in sixth place in the Division 1 bracket. They swept (3-0) Servite in the first round, were swept by Mater Dei, beat Edison in five sets and fell in five sets to Esperanza.

"The tournament was good learning experience for us," Panaro said. "We kind of figured out how to work together as a team, how to keep everybody involved including our bench guys. It's important to have a good, steady flow of energy all the way through out lineup."

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