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DIVISION I GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL : Newport Harbor Sets Mark in Dismantling Mira Costa


CYPRESS — Newport Harbor's dismantling of Manhattan Beach Mira Costa in the Division I finals was systematic and complete.

The Sailors won, 15-5, 15-1, 15-7, in the Southern Section Division I championship match that took only one hour Saturday at Cypress College.

Misty May, who has orally committed to Long Beach State, had 25 kills and 12 digs and Melissa Schutz, who has committed to Colorado, had 12 kills for the Sailors (23-1), the top-ranked team in the state.

The Sailors, the top-seeded team in the section Division I playoffs, posted the most lopsided victory in the history of major division finals.

Mira Costa managed only 13 points. The biggest blowout previously came in 1981 when Irvine defeated Santa Monica, 15-8, 15-2, 15-13, to win the Division 4-A title.

And the Sailors weren't pushing around any patsies. The Mustangs (28-2) were unbeaten in the Ocean League and cruised through the playoffs, including a three-game thrashing of Huntington Beach in the semifinals.

"I was impressed with Mira Costa but we jumped on them early," Newport Harbor Coach Dan Glenn said. "That was our best match of the year. I just hope we have a few more like that left in us."

That's because the State tournament begins Tuesday. A State Division I title eluded the Sailors a year ago.

The Sailors lost to Corona del Mar in five games during the State Division I final last season. The Sea Kings also beat Newport Harbor in four games to win the section Division I championship. Those were the second consecutive section and state championships for Corona del Mar.

Saturday's title was the first Southern Section championship for Newport Harbor since 1987. That season, player of the year Jenny Evans helped the Sailors defeat Corona del Mar in five games of the section Division 5-A final.

Evans, who is now married and goes by Jenny Griffith, is an assistant coach at Calvary Chapel. Griffith helped the Eagles win the Division IV championship earlier Saturday.

Although Griffith might be the best of Newport Harbor's past, their present team might be the school's best yet.

The Sailors dominated the match from start to finish. They scored the first four points of the match and built a 14-2 lead. Tina Bowman, who had three kills and a block, finished off the game with a kill from the middle to make it 15-5.

The Sailors scored the first 10 points of Game 2 with May posting eight kills. But she had plenty of help.

Sara Fairborn finished with eight kills and five digs and setter Jenny Hecker had 40 assists and eight digs.

Rochelle Esparza, who had six kills, and Lori Garber, who had four kills and three blocks, tried to spark the Mustangs in Game 3.

Mira Costa took a 2-0 lead before the Sailors scored 13 consecutive points. After building the lead to 14-3, Mira Costa battled back to make it 14-7, before Schutz ended it with a kill from the right side.

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