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BOYS' VOLLEYBALL / MIKE ITAGAKI

El Toro Bounces Back in Impressive Style

March 14, 2000|MIKE ITAGAKI

El Toro figures to be one of the top teams in the county when the end of the season rolls around, and the Chargers showed glimpses of that potential last weekend at the San Diego Tournament of Champions.

Led by all-tournament selections Jimmy Pelzel and UC Irvine-bound Kyle Martin, El Toro finished second, losing in the final to Marina.

The week didn't start so great for El Toro, which lost to Huntington Beach in a five-game thriller despite Pelzel's school-record 45 kills.

"I think that loss was an eye-opening experience for us," said Coley Kyman, who coaches the Chargers along with his wife, Michelle. "But I think the kids' attitude changed. That loss showed them that our hitting isn't what is going to win matches for us."

Marina continued to strengthen its hold on the top-ranking in the county with an impressive run through the San Diego tournament.

"Two years ago, we lost to Newport Harbor in the San Diego tournament final," Marina Coach Darrick Lucero said, "so winning this year was a major step. We feel we've taken a step toward joining those elite teams."

TOP TOURNAMENT

Many of the area's top players and teams are participating this weekend in the Orange County Championships at Marina, Edison and Huntington Beach high schools.

Host Marina, the Times' No. 1 team in the county, is top-seeded and is led by Long Beach State-bound Jeff Wootton and Rob Kijewski, both outside hitters.

El Toro and South Coast League rivals San Clemente, which features UCLA-bound Gray Garrett, and Capistrano Valley, led by UCLA signee Paul Johnson, are also entered.

Defending Southern Section Division I champion Newport Harbor, led by Stanford signee Billy Clayton, and 1999 Division I finalist Corona del Mar, led by another Stanford signee Kevin Hansen, will also play.

Pool play begins Friday at 3 p.m. at Edison, Marina and Huntington Beach high schools with bracket play continuing Saturday. The Division I championship bracket begins play at noon Saturday at Marina.

The finals are scheduled for Monday at Marina with the Division II game at 5 p.m. followed by the Division I game, but there is a potential conflict.

San Clemente Coach Ken Goldstone said his team has a match with Mater Dei also scheduled for Monday.

BACK ON THE BENCH

Huntington Beach's Cammy Ciarelli is back as an assistant for the Oilers beside her husband Rocky, the boys' head coach.

Earlier this year, Cammy was prohibited by Huntington Beach Union School District officials from coaching at the school, but she was recently reinstated by the school board.

"It feels great to be back," Cammy said.

LOOKING AHEAD

Irvine Coach Mark Mednick chuckled when asked who made up his team's schedule for the week.

"I don't know what I was thinking," he said.

Irvine ends the week at the Orange County Championships but also begins the week with some stern tests. The fourth-ranked Vaqueros host No. 9 Capistrano Valley today at 5 p.m. then play at third-ranked Corona del Mar at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

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If you have an item or idea for the boys' volleyball report, you can fax us at (714) 966-5663 or e-mail us at mike.itagaki@latimes.com

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