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BOYS' VOLLEYBALL

County's Best Will Battle at O.C. Championships

March 13, 2001|MIKE ITAGAKI

The Orange County boys' volleyball landscape will begin to take a more definitive shape this weekend, when many of the area's best teams gather at Edison, Marina and Huntington Beach high schools for the Orange County Championships.

The tournament begins with pool play at the three sites at 3 p.m. Friday, continues with pool play at 8 a.m. Saturday before bracket play begins at noon. The Division II final is Monday at 5 p.m. and the Division I final follows at 7 p.m. Both are at Edison High.

Top-ranked Santa Margarita, No. 2 Fountain Valley, No. 3 Capistrano Valley and No. 5 Mater Dei are top-seeded in each of their four-team pools for the tournament.

Fountain Valley climbed the rankings with a decisive victory in the San Diego Tournament of Champions last weekend.

The Barons, led by Long Beach State-bound and San Diego tournament MVP Nate Hagstrom, defeated Capistrano Valley in the final, 15-13, 15-8. Capistrano Valley thrashed Santa Margarita in the semifinals, 15-3, 15-4. Santa Margarita defeated Fountain Valley earlier this season in a best-of-five match.

Mater Dei finished fifth at the San Diego tournament, but the Monarchs have also lost to Foothill, in three games, earlier this season. Foothill, ranked fourth in the county, is second-seeded in Fountain Valley's pool.

Woodbridge, which won the Division II title last season, is entered in the Division I field, which features all of the county's teams ranked in the Orange County Sportswriters' top 10.

Arcadia, which lost to Woodbridge in the Division II final last season, is entered again with defending Southern Section Division II champion Cerritos Gahr. Dana Hills, Northwood, Servite and Canyon are the county's top teams entered in the Division II tournament.

WEEKEND UPDATE

Foothill didn't give any reason to think its early-season surge is a fluke as the Knights rolled through bracket play to win their own tournament at Saddleback Volleyball Club Saturday.

Setter Ryan Burgess was named tournament MVP as the Knights defeated Woodbridge in the final, 8-15, 15-8, 15-9.

St. Margaret's finished second at the Santa Barbara Laguna Blanca tournament Saturday, with senior outside hitter Jesse Clanton and senior middle blocker Abe Marouf earning all-tournament honors for the Tartans, who lost to Carpinteria in the final, 17-15.

TARTAN TALK

St. Margaret's could further establish itself as a Southern Section Division V title contender with a strong showing this week. The Tartans play Long Beach St. Anthony today and Laguna Hills on Friday. Sandwiched in between on Thursday is a rematch with perennial power Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach defeated St. Margaret's in the second round of the Division III playoffs last season, 15-4, 15-6, 10-15, 15-12.

"The guys are pretty pumped up about that one," St. Margaret's Coach Susie Maga said. "The Laguna Blanca tournament was good since about half of the field was from our [playoff] division."

LOOKING AHEAD

One of the top best-of-five matches this week features No. 7 Irvine at No. 3 Capistrano Valley at 5:30 tonight.

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

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BOYS' VOLLEYBALL TOP 10

Orange County Sportswriters' Poll

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Pos. School League Record 1. Santa Margarita Serra 3-0 2. Fountain Valley Sunset 1-1 3. Capistrano Valley South Coast 2-0 4. Foothill Century 1-1 5. Mater Dei Serra 1-1 6. Newport Harbor Sea View 0-1 7. Irvine Sea View 2-0 8. Corona del Mar Pacific Coast 0-1 9. San Clemente South Coast 2-0 10. Edison Sunset 2-1

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