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AT A GLANCE

Girls' Volleyball

September 05, 2000

* The Proven: Newport Harbor, the two-time defending state Division I champion, has lost two-time player of the year April Ross, who is now at USC. But the Sailors are battle tested, with returning starter Taylor Govaars leading this year's team. Mater Dei returns four starters, including junior Breegan Mulligan, the talented left-handed opposite. The Monarchs went to the Division I-A final last season. "There's a bit of unfinished business," Mater Dei Coach Craig Pazanti said.

* The Promising: Irvine's Jody Carlson, also a basketball standout, and junior middle blocker Olivia Waldowski lead a group that will try to unseat defending champion Newport Harbor in the Sea View. Huntington Beach has coaches Rocky and Cammy Ciarelli back along with a talented unit that includes five returning starters.

* Preseason Top 10: 1. Mater Dei--The Monarchs are primed for a breakthrough season; 2. Irvine--Vaqueros have weapons to compete for section and state titles; 3. San Clemente--First-team all-leaguer Katy Daly leads one of the South County's best teams; 4. Huntington Beach--Oilers have experience and depth to play with the best; 5. Newport Harbor--After three consecutive section titles, can Coach Dan Glenn lead the Sailors back to another? 6. Santa Margarita--First-year Coach John Hawks won't have to rebuild, just reload; 7. Esperanza--Junior Kristy Chester leads another Sunset contender; 8. Corona del Mar--Setter/opposite Jacqueline Becker and the Sea Kings should battle Laguna Beach for Pacific Coast bragging rights; 9. La Habra--Highlanders hope to repeat '98 section title season; 10. Los Alamitos--Griffins' water polo star Drue Wawrzynski is also promising on the volleyball court.

* Key Dates: Sept. 15-16, 18, Dave Mohs Memorial tournament, Edison HS; Oct. 27-28, Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions; Nov. 7, 9, 11, 14, Southern Section playoffs; Nov. 17-18, Southern Section finals, Cypress College; Nov. 21, 25, 28, State playoffs; Dec. 2, State finals, Cypress College.

* League Favorites: Academy--St. Margaret's; Century--El Modena; Empire--Cypress; Freeway--La Habra; Garden Grove--Pacifica; Golden West--Ocean View; Olympic--Cerritos Valley Christian; Orange--Valencia; Pacific Coast--Corona del Mar; Sea View--Irvine; Serra--Mater Dei; South Coast--San Clemente; Sunset--Huntington Beach.

* Fast Fact: Division I-A could be the toughest this postseason because it includes Mater Dei, Irvine, Newport Harbor, Huntington Beach, and out-of-area powers Manhattan Beach Mira Costa and Simi Valley Royal.

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