High School Roundup: HB sweeps into semis

Oilers stay true to their No. 4 seed and advanced into Wednesday night's semifinals in boys' volleyball.

May 15, 2013|By Mike Sciacca

It has been 20 years since Huntington Beach High won its first CIF Southern Section championship in boys' volleyball.

Entering the week, the Oilers were one win away from playing for another title.

Huntington advanced to Wednesday's Division 1 playoff semifinals by sweeping its third-straight postseason opponent. This time, it was Dana Hills which felt the wrath of the Oilers, who scored a 25-20, 25-18, 25-21 quarterfinal road victory over the South Coast League runner-up.

The win, the 11th-consecutive by sweep for Sunset League champion Huntington, put the No. 4-seeded Oilers, 29-2 overall, into a semifinal match at home Wednesday against top-seeded Mira Costa (Bay League No. 1). The score from the match wasn't available at press time. The winner will play for the Division 1 championship at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Santiago Canyon College in Orange.


Sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco had 17 kills, senior middle blocker Andrew TenBrink and senior opposite Zach Gates had nine and seven kills, respectively, and senior setter Matt Butler had 41 assists.

DeFalco and junior outside hitter Brenden Sander each had 11 kills in Huntington's previous postseason triumph, a 25-16, 25-21, 25-18 second-round sweep at Orange Lutheran (Trinity League No. 3) on May 9.

"It was all about a fast start," Huntington Coach Craig Pazanti said of the Dana Hills win. "Being on the road, we were trying to take to crowd out of it early.

"Our passing was really good, and that was key against a good serving team like Dana Hills. It helped us limit their runs, and allowed us to play from in front most of the night. Just a great team win."

Huntington first won a Southern Section title in 1993, then repeated as a CIF champion the following year. Pazanti was an assistant coach under Rocky Ciarelli both of those title years. Pazanti said that the Oilers had to defeat Mira Costa at home in both of those years, to win both titles.

To have a shot at winning a championship this year, the Oilers would have to knock off the reigning Division 1 champion Wednesday.

Los Angeles Loyola played No. 3-seed San Clemente (South Coast League No. 1) in the other Division 1 semifinal Wednesday.

"Mira Costa is a great team and a great program," he said. "They are seeded No. 1 in the playoffs for a reason. But, we have been playing really well for the past month or so. I am expecting an exciting match from two excellent teams, and hopefully when the dust settles, we will be left standing."

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