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Huntington Beach, SVC look to extend domination
A place in history will be within reach for the Huntington Beach and Saddleback Valley Christian boys volleyball teams Saturday.
Huntington Beach is in search of its third consecutive CIF-SS title when it faces Corona del Mar in the Division 1 final at Cerritos College at 7:30 p.m.
Saddleback Valley Christian could beat the Oilers to the three-consecutive title club. SVC, which won titles in 2013 and 2014 in Division 5, will set its sights on adding another title when it faces St. Margaret’s in the Division 4 final at 11:30 a.m.
There have been just five schools, including Laguna Beach (1981-83) and Whittier Christian (1991-93), to win three consecutive CIF-SS titles.
“It definitely is a history-making opportunity for us,” SVC coach Ryan Van Rensselaer said. “The opportunity to go down in history is definitely in the scope for sure.”
SVC moved up to Division 4 this season and had to replace several starters from last year’s team.
“We have three new starters on the floor, but we still knew we had it in us,” Van Rensselaer said. “Everyone had to do their job and do it well. Everyone has been firing on all cylinders.”
Huntington Beach’s senior class is in the midst of one of the most dominant runs seen in volleyball.
The Oilers have won 100 consecutive matches, dating back to 2013. They have won two consecutive CIF and Southern California Regional titles.
The challenge, the Oilers say, has been not getting caught up in “The Streak.” They passed the CIF-SS Southern Section record for consecutive victories (69) in March.
“I think I just want to get through the season and then I’ll have a better perspective of it,” Huntington Beach coach Craig Pazanti said. “It is a tribute to the guys. You come in every night and you know there is a target on your back and everybody has their best match for you.
“For them to come and do what they do, night in and night out, it is awesome, but we have a couple more goals in mind here. Everybody has a bad night every once in awhile, but these guys have been able to get through it.”
The Oilers have only lost four sets all season. Last year’s team lost six sets.
“There are certain marks (that mean something to the team). … The last one was at 69 when we passed the previous record,” junior Shane Holdaway said. “Once we pass it, we kind of forget about it. The next milestone was 100, so now that we’re there, we can kind of move on and keep playing.”
For the team that wins today, there will be another challenge waiting next year: joing the exclusive club of teams to win four consecutive titles. Only three teams - Loyola (1985-88), Santa Ynez (1999-02) and Viewpoint (2005-08) - have done that.
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