NEWPORT BEACH — Dale Flickinger, the Corona del Mar High School girls' volleyball coach, expected a letdown from his players Tuesday night.
After all, it's pretty hard to top winning the Southern Section 5-A title, which the Sea Kings did Saturday night.
"I knew this match would be ugly," Flickinger said. "But not this ugly."
Flickinger found the best adjective to describe Corona del Mar's 15-3, 15-10, 12-15, 15-13 victory over Notre Dame Academy in the first round of the Southern California Division I regionals at Corona del Mar.
"I knew there would be a tremendous letdown after (the Southern Section) finals," Flickinger said. "We just didn't have any consistency out there."
Lara Carlsen had 19 kills and Lynn Randall added 12 as the Sea Kings advanced to Saturday's second round against the winner of the Poway-Pacific Palisades match.
Stacy Petersen had 10 kills and Tracy Schriber added nine as Corona del Mar (25-1) won its 23rd consecutive match. Chrissy Boehle had 11 kills to lead Southern Section 4-A champion Notre Dame Academy (15-3).
Flickinger didn't praise his team like he did after the Sea Kings swept Mira Costa in the 5-A final.
Corona del Mar made short work of Notre Dame Academy in the first game.
But the Sea Kings showed signs of trouble in the second.
They built an 8-0 lead but committed four serving errors and three hitting errors as Notre Dame cut the deficit to 14-10. An ace by Kristin Spataro and a Notre Dame Academy hitting error gave Corona del Mar a 15-10 victory.
Then the Sea Kings really began to struggle. They committed 12 hitting errors while losing the third game, and nearly lost a big lead in the fourth game.
They built leads of 11-16 and 14-8 in the fourth game, but Notre Dame Academy fought off two match points to cut the deficit to 14-13.
Carlsen finally ended the match with a block.