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High School Roundup: Oilers boys' volleyball team repeat as Sunset champ

Huntington Beach sweeps Newport Harbor to clinch league title and improve to 8-0 in Sunset League.

April 24, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(KEVIN CHANG / HB…)

A year ago, the Huntington Beach High boys' volleyball team sewed up a Sunset League championship by defeating reigning champion Newport Harbor in the second to last league match of the season.

Tuesday on the same floor, the visiting Oilers again secured the Sunset crown by taking down the Sailors this time, one match earlier.

Huntington went to 8-0 in league and in the process repeated as league champ by sweeping Newport Harbor, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22. The win also put the Oilers, ranked fourth in CIF Southern Section Division 1, at 24-2 overall.

Oilers Coach Craig Pazanti cited his team's balanced offense as a key to Tuesday's win. Both sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco and senior middle blocker Andrew TenBrink had 12 kills, and senior opposite Zach Gates had 11 kills. Strong serving by junior outside hitter Brenden Sander led to an 11-2 run that ended the first set, and Pazanti said senior setter Matt Butler ran the offense "to perfection, keeping everyone involved."

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Huntington completed a season sweep of Newport Harbor for a second straight year. In last April's title-clinching match against the Sailors, the Oilers trailed, 2-0 in games, before rallying for a huge win at Newport.

A win in that game by the Sailors would have created a two-way tie with Huntington for the league lead with one match to go.

"It's always good to get a win at Newport," Pazanti said. "It just makes it that much better, that it secures the Sunset League title. After what happened last season, falling behind 2-0 and then coming back to win in five, we wanted to take care of business early this time.

"Give a lot of credit to Newport. They came out and played very hard the entire match. We had to work for this win."

Huntington previously won its senior night contest Friday by a 25-14, 25-14, 25-19 sweep of visiting Marina. Butler had eight kills and 18 assists in the win.

Logan Atkeson had 15 kills for Marina.

"Last Friday was senior night, so we had some good contributions from some guys who don't normally get as many opportunities," Pazanti said. "It was great to see the fan support, and the overall energy that we played with throughout the night.

"I have been telling our guys all season that our depth is a big reason why we will be successful this season, and Friday it showed. We had key performances by Robbie Cornwell, Max McDaniel, Emmett Ross and Grant Halsey. And, a rare hitting display by Matt Butler."

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