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Oilers keep it going

High School Roundup

Huntington Beach, which had huge year last season, continues to perform at high level with 10-0 record.

March 19, 2014|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach, HB Independent )

There was an unveiling Monday night at Elmer Combs Gymnasium at Huntington Beach High that paid tribute to the Oilers' boys' volleyball program, and for good reason.

Three championship banners, one for CIF Southern Section Division 1 title, another for a State Regional Championships title, and the third, for a national championship title, each symbolic of the many accomplishments achieved by the 2013 team, went up on permanent display, prior to the start of Huntington's nonleague match against Hawaii Kamehameha.

The Oilers then went out and swept Kamehameha, winning, 25-16, 25-22, 25-20, to run their record to 10-0.

Huntington still occupies the top spot in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 rankings this year. Monday's sweep only further solidified the top ranking for the Oilers, who last Saturday won the Best of the West Tournament championship.

"It was a great weekend, and tonight's win [against Kamehameha], on a night that the banners went up, was nice," said Huntington Coach Craig Pazanti who pointed to one wall of the gymnasium where the new banners were displayed. "Those banners sure look nice hanging up there."

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Senior middle blocker Drake Evans had 14 kills and junior outside hitter TJ DeFalco had 12 kills and three aces to pace the Oilers.

"The biggest thing we talked about before this game was that we wanted to have no letdown after playing at the Best of the West," Pazanti said. "We wanted to come out and play strong from the start and set the tone, and I think we did that."

The Oilers picked up an impressive win against one of Hawaii's top prep teams two days after grinding their way through the grueling Best of the West Tournament hosted by Poway High. Considered one of the most prestigious boys' volleyball tournaments nationally, the event drew teams from Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno, San Francisco, Hawaii, Arizona and New York.

Huntington capped a standout tournament run with a 25-23, 25-22 victory Saturday over Fresno Buchanan.

DeFalco was named tournament MVP, and senior outside hitter Brendan Sander was named all-tournament.

The Oilers went 7-0 and didn't drop a set during the tournaments. They defeated Carlsbad (2-0), San Francisco Whitney (2-0), Santa Barbara (2-0), Thousand Oaks (2-0), Oak Park (2-0), Corona del Mar (2-0) and Buchanan (2-0) en route to the title.

Huntington previously swept Servite, 25-15, 25-19, 25-17, in a nonleague match March 11. DeFalco and Sander had 13 and 12 kills, respectively.

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