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Chargers edge Sailors

Girls' Volleyball

Sailors win long third set, but Edison takes final two to grab important Sunset League victory.

October 19, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

HUNTINGTON BEACH — After close to two hours of intense action on the court, the Newport Harbor High girls' volleyball immediately left the gym.

The Sailors had no reason to stick around at Edison on Wednesday night.

They traveled, hoping to stay in contention for a Sunset League title. They lost ground in league play.

The Chargers edged Newport Harbor, 26-24, 20-25, 33-35, 25-18, 15-12, to remain in the hunt for their first league crown in 10 years. The victory was Edison's third straight against the Sailors, two coming in league play.

The most important ones for the Chargers (20-5, 5-1 in league), ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division I-AA poll, are in league. Edison is one match behind top-ranked Los Alamitos, which is 6-0 in league.

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With four league matches left, No. 3 Newport Harbor (14-6, 3-3) is in third place. The Sailors most likely will finish at that spot after placing second last year.

Edison Coach Trent Jackson is asking a favor of the Sailors.

"It would be great if Newport would knock off Los Al [on Oct. 25] and give [the Griffins] a loss and give us a better chance to win league," said Jackson, whose Chargers dropped a tough five-set decision at home to Los Alamitos last week.

"We'd love to be 8-1 going into Los Al [in the league finale on Nov. 1] and have a chance to beat [the Griffins] and win league."

Newport Harbor tried to make next week's match at Los Alamitos count, for a chance to return to the top of the league for the first time in two years.

Cassie Strickland stood in the way of the Sailors. Strickland, a senior outside hitter bound for the University of Washington, finished with 28 kills, 19 digs and five service aces.

In the final two sets, Strickland recorded almost half of her kills to lift the Chargers. Her jump serve also created problems for the Sailors in the decisive fifth set.

Strickland gave Edison a 6-2 lead after two registering back-to-back aces. The lead turned out to be the largest in the fifth set, but the Sailors rallied, taking a 10-9 lead.

Senior Alex Holbrook started an 8-2 run, producing two kills for Newport Harbor. Claire Castillo, a middle blocker, stuffed a shot and then pounded two kills.

The Sailors' lead didn't last long.

Strickland tied the set at 10-10 by taking some steam off a shot. Newport Harbor Coach Dan Glenn called a timeout and the move didn't help much.

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