Orange County boys volleyball preview: Sterling Foley could give Corona del Mar another shot at CIF-SS title (2024)

BOYS VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW 2024

Orange County boys volleyball preview: Sterling Foley could give Corona del Mar another shot at CIF-SS title (1)

Sterling Foley is 6-foot-6.

“A lot of people look up to me,” Foley said.

True, and not only because of his height.

Foley is an All-CIF Southern Section and All-Orange County first-team volleyball player at Corona del Mar. He is a senior this season.

As a senior, Foley, an outside hitter, knows being a leader is required.

“Of course winning CIF is goal one,” he said. “Goal two is getting everyone on the team to play as a team, to help us get closer to each other so that we push each other to the limit.”

When the Sea Kings lost in three sets to Newport Harbor in last season’s CIF Southern Section Division 1 championship match,Foley had a team-high 12 kills.

Foley, who has signed with USC, has played for USA Volleyball age-group teams. Coaches usually mention Foley first when asked about the best players in Orange County this season.

Corona del Mar coach Katey Thompson calls Foley “an athletic beast.”

“The mental aspect of the game, how he sees the court, might be his best strength,” Thompson said. “Not only how he sees guys up front on offense but also defensively in the back court where he can cover so much space.”

NOTES

• The CIF-SS boys volleyball regular season concludes April 18. The playoffs begin April 23 and conclude with finals May 11. CIF Southern California Regional matches are May 14 and 16 followed by the CIF State finals May 18. …

•Newport Harbor was the only Orange County boys volleyball team to win a CIF-SS championship last year. The Sailors won the Open Division. They lost to Loyola in the CIF Southern California Regional Division I final. …

• Last season, Tesoro lost to Upland in the Division 2 final; St. Margaret’s lost to El Segundo in the Division 3 final; El Dorado lost to Hart in the Division 4 final.

PRESEASON TOP 10

1. Corona del Mar: The Sea Kings have returning senior Sterling Foley and junior Brogan Glenn, who was All-County third team last season.

2. Huntington Beach: Senior setter Jake Pazanti, All-County third team last season, leads a talented group of Oilers that includes senior outside hitter Bennet Tchaikovsky and 6-5 senior opposite hitter Aidan Dubno.

3. Mater Dei: The Monarchs bring back a strong group from last season. All-Trinity League selections Eli McGhee and USC-signed middle blocker Tyler Robinson return. They have added Bennett Smith, a sophom*ore outside hitter who is a transfer from St. John Bosco, and Jack Jadon, a junior opposite hitter from Mira Costa.

4. Newport Harbor: Last year’s CIF Southern Section Division 1 champion brings back All-County first-team senior outside hitter Riggs Guy, USC-bound senior opposite hitter Jack Von Der Ahe and senior libero Walker Vaicek,

5. Servite: The Friars, led by senior opposite hitter Eamon Rigdon and senior Quinn Rosenkranz and senior middle blocker Cooper Truong, will challenge for the Trinity League championship.

6. Edison: The Chargers will be led by senior outside hitter/middle blocker Ben Winkokur, who was All-Wave League first team a year ago.

7. San Clemente: The Tritons have one of Orange County’s top liberos in Stanford-bound senior Kai Schmitt.

8. Tesoro: The Titans were CIF-SS Division 2 finalists in 2023. They bring back their best player, powerful senior outside hitter Kaumana Carreira.

9. Beckman: The Patriots are among the 15 teams on the CIF-SS Division 1 watch list of potential Division 1 playoff teams. Junior Luke Morrison, who was an All-County third-team selection a year ago, returns along with two key sophom*ores, Gavin Looney at outside hitter and Josiah Suhr at setter.

10. Canyon: Among the returning players from last year’s team that finished 22-5 overall and won the Crestview League are senior opposite hitter Braedon Marquardt, who was All-Crestview League first team last year, and senior outside hitter Dominik Pelikan who twice has been an all-league first-team selection.

TOP PLAYERS TO WATCH

Kaumana Carreira, Tesoro, Sr., Outside hitter: Carreira was the CIF-SS Division 2 player of the year last season and All-Orange County first team.

Sterling Foley, Corona del Mar, Sr., Outside hitter: Foley has signed with USC. He was All-County and All-CIF Division 1 last year. Surveyed coaches consider him to be Orange County’s best player.

Riggs Guy, Newport Harbor, Sr., Outside hitter: Guy was All-County first team and All-CIF last season. He will be the Sailors’ go-to player this season. He signed with UC Santa Barbara.

Eli McGhee, Mater Dei, Sr., Outside hitter: He was All-Trinity League first team last season. McGhee has been a key contributor since his sophom*ore year.

Luke Morrison, Beckman, Jr., Opposite hitter: He is ranked among the top juniors in the nation. Morrison was All-Pacific Coast League last season.

Jake Pazanti, Huntington Beach, Sr., Setter: Pazanti, whose father Craig is the Huntington Beach boys and girls volleyball coach, was All-Surf League first team and All-County third team last year. He signed with Long Beach State.

Eamon Rigdon, Servite, Sr., Opposite hitter: The left-handed Rigdon was All-CIF Division 2 and All-County second team last year. He signed with USC.

Kai Schmitt, San Clemente, Sr., Libero: Schmitt has been All-South Coast League the past two seasons and was team MVP last year. He signed with Stanford.

Trent Taliaferro, JSerra, Sr., Setter: Taliaferro was All-Trinity League first team and All-County third team last year. He signed with UCLA.

Reed Wainwright, St. Margaret’s, Sr., Middle blocker: Wainwright was CIF-SS Division 4 player of the year two seasons ago and was All-County second team and All-CIF last season. He signed with Stanford.

Orange County boys volleyball preview: Sterling Foley could give Corona del Mar another shot at CIF-SS title (2024)
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