In the matter of the Orange County Volleyball Coaches boys' and girls' all-star matches, Friday at Golden West College, here's what happened:
The North won.
The North girls won, 15-6, 15-11, 12-15, mainly because the South was without its best player. Well, the South was without the state's and probably the nation's best high school player, Irvine High's Bev Oden.
The North boys won, 15-8, 15-7, 4-15, because it had five members from Corona del Mar's recent Southern Section champion.
Oden was competing in the shotput at the California Interscholastic Federation track and field meet at Cerritos College. She didn't show up until halfway through the second game and played only in the third.
In her absence, the North, led by Sunny Hills' Marissa Hatchett, had a relatively easy time of it. Hatchett, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker who has signed to play at UCLA, had seven kills and five blocks in the first two games. Hatchett was named the match's most valuable player.
But Oden, who led Irvine to back-to-back state championships, was the player in Game 3. A 6-1 middle blocker who has signed to play at Stanford, Oden had five kills and a block in the last game. Besides those numbers, she provided a healthy dose of intimidation throughout.
"You could see the entire climate of the match change when she got in," said Woodbridge's Steve Stratos, the South coach. "They (the North team) weren't as aggressive when she was in. That's how dominant she is."
In the boys' match, Corona del Mar setter Ty Price, named the most valuable player, and four Corona del Mar teammates led the North to quick, and what appeared rather easy, victories in the first two games.
"Whoever had Corona del Mar was going to win this match," said Newport Harbor's Dan Glenn, North coach. "I just sat back and watched them play."
Besides the Corona del Mar crew, the North also had heavy hitters such as Marina's 6-6 Duane Cameron (six kills) and Sunset League player of the year Scott Drake (four kills) of Huntington Beach.
The North jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the first game and cruised to the win. It had an 11-3 lead in the second game and cruised again.
But a funny thing happened in the third game. Laguna Beach's Sean Stafford basically took over and led the South to a win. Stafford, voted the Orange County player of the year by coaches, had eight kills in the last game, 10 for the match.