The Mira Costa boys’ volleyball team headed into its match with defending Division 1 CIF-Southern Section champion Corona del Mar with a 7-1 record and having won some big matches already.
But they learned never to let your guard down against a defending champion. Corona del Mar came in with a 6-5 record but was able to win a key second game and went on to defeat Mira Costa in four games 25-18, 26-24, 17-25, 25-19.
“Their team played so well,” said Mira Costa boys’ volleyball second-year head coach Avery Drost. “They ran their offense really well.”
Corona del Mar defeated an unbeaten Newport Harbor team for the boys’ volleyball title last year and dropped some matches in the recent Best of the West volleyball tournament in Poway that was won by Newport Harbor.
Newport Harbor defeated Mira Costa in the semifinals of that tournament and it was the only blemish on the Mustangs schedule to date.
After dropping the first game, Mira Costa responded and had opportunities to tie up the match, but eventually succumbed to the defending champs in game two to fall behind 2-0.
“In the second set we made a lot of mistakes,” Drost said. “The second set was winnable for us, it was a back-and-forth game the whole time and we had a late lead. It was hard to give that set away because it was there for us to win.”
Mira Costa went on to win the third game to extend it another game, but that second game turned out to be big.
“We made way too many mistakes, but I think it will be a wake-up call for us,” said Mira Costa Thomas Kretschmer. “Our practices have been lacking energy and focus the past couple weeks and I think it showed tonight. However, I think we can use this loss to motivate us throughout the rest of the season and prove to the community how good this Mira Costa team can be.”
Against a team like Corona del Mar, they needed to raise their level of play and was not able to match it and bring it up. Although there were not many positives to take away from following the match, Drost mentioned that Jack Hopkins came in and showed some promise while he was on the court.
This year’s team is lead by senior captains Will Bond, libero; Adam Sevier, middle blocker; and Kretschmer, outside hitter.
Along with Drost, who returned for his second year as head coach, this year’s team does not have any real standouts but plenty of high-level skill players playing team volleyball. Now they will find out how good they are.
For Drost, getting around all the coaching duties is much smoother in year two.
“The second time around is way easier for me,” Drost said.
Added to his challenges this year is not having a gym. The team is spending most of its time at Manhattan Beach Middle School.
Drost is lucky this year his team has senior leadership behind it.
“The temperament of this year’s team is so good so far,” Drost said. “I’m really happy with the seniors, the leaders. They are really on it, they self-maintain really well. The guys get practice going and stay on task and push each other. They hold each other accountable.”
That shows on the court.
“They play well together,” Drost said. “They play with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”
Ben Coordt is a player on the rise for the Mustangs.
“He has turned out to be even more varsity ready than I thought. He is barely 15 years old and is playing incredibly well,” said the coach.
Coordt was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Best of the West tournament.
Besides those mentioned above, others who will contribute are junior Jack Walmer as a setter and opposite Ethan Young, middle blocker Dain Johnson and libero Lauch Farris.
Key early wins have come against Santa Barbara on the road and Santa Margarita in the Best of the West.
Once again, this year’s team has high Mira Costa standards and will be shooting for Bay League and CIF.