Edison's Dani Dennison and Cassidy Dennison hug after defeating Huntington Beach in the CIF Regional game at Huntington Beach, on Saturday. (Photo by Nick Agro, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Edison reaches first CIF State volleyball final


There hasn’t much separating the Edison and Huntington Beach girls volleyball teams this season. They split their regular-season meetings, shared the Sunset League title and even went out of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs at the same stage (quarterfinals).

Saturday, they both had a chance at the ultimate head-to-head tiebreaker in the CIF SoCal Regional Division I final, and the visiting Chargers seized the opportunity, sweeping their city rival, 25-18, 25-21, 25-13.

Huntington Beach ends the season 31-4.

“I’m so proud of all of the girls,” Edison senior Hannah Phair said. “It was such a cool thing to be part of.”

The season continues for Edison in the CIF State Division I finals. The Chargers will play Menlo-Atherton on Friday night at Santiago Canyon College.

The Chargers (35-8) turned momentum in the favor midway through the opening set. Huntington Beach led 14-11, but Edison went on an 11-1 run to take a 22-15 lead. Maggie Gunther ended the first set with a kill and the Chargers never looked back.

Edison led throughout the second set, wrapping the set on a kill from Cassidy Dennison.

The Oilers jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the third set, but the Chargers took control scoring six consecutive points.

“I think we played one of our best matches of the year,” Edison coach Matt Skolnik said. “They’re a very good team and we wanted to make sure we focus on ourselves. For us, it was to make sure we played well and take care of everything on our side.”

Phair led the Chargers with 17 kills. Taylor Gray and Dennison had 13 and nine, respectively.

“It wasn’t some big mystery as to what was going to happen on the court,” Huntington Beach coach Craig Pazanti said. “We just had to defend and they outplayed us in every aspect, every skill set, serving, passing, defense, blocking, hitting ... probably coaching tonight.

“They did everything they needed to do to win.”

The Chargers will be making their first appearance in the state finals.

“We’ve come leaps and bounds,” Phair said. “It has been amazing to be part of and to see everyonie get better and everyone improve and it is such a great atmosphere to be in, with our coaching staff ... it is amazing.”

In the Open Division:

Santa Margarita 3, Santa Fe Christian of Solana Beach 0: Meghan McClure led the top-seeded Eagles (38-4) with 18 kills and Abby Van Winkle added 10 to lead the way in the 25-21, 25-20, 25-18 victory.

Sarah Ciszek added seven kills. Julianna Reisinger finished with 21 digs and Devon Chang had 46 assists.

Santa Margarita will face Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, the Northern California champion, in the CIF State championship, Saturday at Santiago Canyon College at 6:30 p.m.

This will be the first state finals appearance for Santa Margarita since 2003.

In Division V

Immanuel of Reedley 3, Capistrano Valley Christian 0: The fifth-seed Immanuel swept host Capistrano Valley Christian, 25-23, 25-13, 25-13.

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