The Battle of the Bay brings out strong emotions when the Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar boys volleyball teams meet during the regular season. When you factor in what was at stake in their contest Thursday, in the CIF Division I SoCal Regional semifinals, it only intensified every point.
That was certainly the case in the fourth set, with the Sailors fighting to extend the match to a fifth.
As emotions ran high, a ruling by the official cost Newport Harbor a point, and perhaps some valuable momentum, and shortly thereafter Corona del Mar’s Patrick Paragas ended the match with a block to give the host Sea Kings a 25-13, 25-20, 18-25, 25-22 victory.
The Sea King will face Loyola of Los Angeles in the final Saturday at Edison High at 5:30 p.m.
Newport Harbor led 21-19 in the fourth set following a kill from Ethan Talley. As he celebrated, he turned toward the Newport Harbor fans. The official, according to Newport Harbor coach Rocky Ciarelli, claimed Talley used foul language and assessed him a red card and a point for Corona del Mar.
In that instance, the game’s momentum seemed to switch sides.
“It got a little chippy out there,” CdM coach Steve Conti said. “Certainly this match meant a lot to both sides. I’m not sure what we said, but both teams were warned numerous times, both teams were yellow-carded several times … We told our guys, we can’t afford to lose our cool and give the point away on something like that.
“There were some times where we should have conducted ourselves a little bit better too, and I think that’s why we kind of unraveled a bit in game three because we got caught up in the wrong stuff. Sometimes that happens to kids. That’s an expensive lesson.”
With the Sailors’ lead now 21-20, the Sea Kings responded with an ace, a block and a kill from Clay Dickinson to take a 23-21 lead. They went on to seal the victory, 25-22.
“Ethan said he didn’t say anything,” Ciarelli said. “The referee said he used the F-word….