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Boys' Volleyball: Oilers sweep into SoCal Regional final

Huntington Beach will play for another championship, against Loyola again, after sweeping San Clemente.

May 23, 2013|By Mike Sciacca

HUNTINGTON BEACH — TJ DeFalco opened with an ace serve Thursday night and from there, it was aces all around for the Huntington Beach High boys' volleyball team.

The Oilers reserved a spot in Saturday's CIF Southern California Regional Division 1 championship match by sweeping past visiting San Clemente, 25-20, 25-18, 26-24, before another great crowd at Huntington's Elmer Combs Gymnasium.

Huntington, the top seed in the tournament, returns to Santiago Canyon College in Orange for Saturday's 7:30 p.m. Division 1 finale. It's the same court site where the Oilers defeated Los Angeles Loyola, 3-2, to win the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title last Saturday.

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The Oilers again will face Loyola in another title tilt on Saturday. The Cubs, the tourney's No. 3 seed, won, 21-25, 34-32, 25-19, 25-21, at No. 2-seeded Chula Vista Otay Ranch in Thursday's other division semifinal.

Huntington needed just over an hour to polish off San Clemente to even the season series between the teams at 1-1. The Oilers (33-2) dominated the No. 4 seed and forced the Tritons (33-4) to play from behind throughout most of the match.

The outcome, and look of the Oilers, was much different than when the teams met in the championship final of the Orange County Championships.

"We didn't have our full lineup in that match," Huntington senior middle blocker Andrew TenBrink said of the March meeting between the teams. "Brenden [Sander] was out injured and we had a few guys playing out of position. Tonight, we were at full strength."

Without Sander, a junior outside hitter, Huntington dropped a 3-1 match to the Tritons.

It is the last loss for the Oilers, who have since ripped off 23 consecutive victories.

"We got on them early and never let up," TenBrink said. "We passed really well and kept the momentum going all match. It feels good to get the sweep."

DeFalco, a sophomore outside hitter, served up an ace for the opening point of the match. Huntington maintained a three-point cushion throughout the early stages of the first set although San Clemente rallied to tie the score at 15-15. It was an 18-17 Huntington lead before the Oilers went on a 5-0 tear to gain a comfortable lead at 22-17.

The run ended with an another ace, this time, by Sander. A kill down the left side line by senior opposite Zach Gates, completed a 25-20 win for the Oilers.

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