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Huntington Beach roars back after early deficit

STAFF WRITER

In most instances, the start to the opening set that the Huntington Beach girls volleyball team had Saturday might have ended a lot differently than it did.

The Oilers, the top seed in the CIF SoCal Regional Division I bracket, trailed visiting Eastlake of Chula Vista by 10 points early in the set.

“I just told them don’t give up, just keep playing,” Huntington Beach coach Craig Pazanti said.

They didn’t, rallying back to win the set en route to their 25-23, 25-13, 24-26, 25-16 home victory in the second round.

The Oilers will host fourth-seeded Ventura in the regional semifinals Tuesday night.

“They (Eastlake) came out with a ton of energy,” Pazanti said. “They served tough, blocked a couple of balls. They did a really good job.

“I don’t think we were playing all that bad to be honest with you.”

After trailing, 13-3, the Oilers (30-4) tied the set at 21 and they didn’t take their first lead until Cami Sanchez connected to give them set point, 24-23, and eventually the final point to complete the comeback.

“Eventually everybody is going to go on a little run; we just stayed with it and that was a big comeback,” Pazanti said. “I thought that might be the back-breaker for them, especially once we got them in set two, but give them credit, they came out in the third set also and didn’t quit.”

The Oilers nearly had another comeback to steal the third set, but regrouped in the fourth, jumping out to a 10-2 lead and cruised home for the victory.

“I’m super proud of these girls,” Pazanti said. “I knew we had to win with defense and we played some pretty amazing defense tonight.”

Sanchez led the Oilers attack with 11 kills. Anna Carroll and Julia Jackson had 10 and nine, respectively.

Also in Division I:

Edison 3, Clovis West 0: The second-seeded Chargers (33-8) advanced to the regional semifinals with their 25-18, 25-20, 25-13 home victory.

Hannah Phair and Cassidy Dennison had 11 kills apiece. Dani Dennison had 15 digs and Lindsey Sparks had 32 assists.

Edison will host third-seeded Lakewood on Tuesday night.

In Division V

Capistrano Valley Christian 3, Maranatha Christian 1: The Eagles were led by Keara Rutz's 23 kills and six aces in the 25-22, 25-9, 21-25, 26-24 home victory.

Riley Barclay had 33 assists and Jessica Wilson had 20 digs.

CVC will host seventh-seeded Frazier Mountain, Tuesday.

Contact the writer: dcalhoun@scng.com


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