Perennial CIF-Southern Section Division 1 boys volleyball powerhouse Corona del Mar leads the 16-team field for this weekend’s Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions at Santa Barbara High.
The tournament runs Friday and Saturday at J.R. Richards Gym and San Marcos’ Thunderhut. First-round action begins at 11 a.m. at SBHS. The semifinals are Saturday at 10:45 a.m. and the championship is at 6:15 p.m.. All matches are best-of-five sets.
Top-seeded Corona del Mar comes into the tournament with an 18-2 record and a No. 3 ranking in the latest Division 1 poll. The Sea Kings finished as division runners-up the last two years. The are led by 6-6 middle Tyler Floyd and outside hitter Mitchell Haley.
Fifth-ranked Westlake is the tournament’s No. 2 seed. The Warriors (21-4) are looking to send long-time coach Doug Magorien into retirement on a winning note. Magorien has coached volleyball for 35 years, the last 17 years at Westlake. His youngest son, Troy, is the team’s leading hitter.
Mira Costa, led by high-flying Max Cajuste, is the No. 3 seed. Max Ogas, a 6-5 opposite, leads fourth-seeded Clovis.
Santa Barbara and San Marcos are the local teams entered. San Marcos opens the tournament against a 22-1 Saint Francis team from Mountain View at 12:45 p.m.. Santa Barbara faces South Pasadena at 2:30.
The other participants are Newbury Park, West Ranch, Channel Islands, Camarillo, Burroughs-Burbank, Buchanan, Royal and Simi Valley.
Channel Islands, ranked fifth in Division 3, brings an undefeated record of 17-0 into the tournament. The Raiders open against Clovis at 12:45.
Other players to watch in the tournament include 6-7 senior outside hitter Spencer Heimerdinger of Buchanan, 6-5 senior opposite Daniel Wetter of Camarillo, 6-5 junior outside hitter Jerod Nelson of Saint Francis, 6-3 senior outside hitter Matt Schotz of South Pasadena and Channel Islands senior 5-5 dynamo Joshua Carin.