Huntington Beach captures O.C. Championships title


HUNTINGTON BEACH – The early moments of the match saw the Huntington Beach boys volleyball team in a situation that has been uncommon recently.

Second-ranked Corona del Mar scored five of the first seven points and remained in striking distance for most of the first set of the Division 1 final of the Orange County Championships on Monday night.

The No. 1 Oilers started to pull away over the second half of the opening set and eventually closed out their 83rd consecutive victory, winning 25-21, 25-19 at Edison High.

“I don’t think we played that great in the first set, and I looked up and we were still up a couple of points,” Huntington Beach coach Craig Pazanti said. “That’s a tribute to them (the Oilers players) being confident.

“When we started to pass the ball, we have a lot of options, and when we do that, it gives our setter (Josh Tuaniga) three options.”

Tuaniga, a senior, was selected tournament MVP. TJ DeFalco also earned all-tournament honors for the Oilers.

Pazanti credited Tuaniga’s calm demeanor on the court for helping the Oilers keep their poise in tight situations.

“(My teammates) need somebody out there that’s calm and somebody to look to for guidance and somebody that’s strong enough to stay with the same demeanor, and I feel like I need to take the responsibility,” Tuaniga said.

DeFalco led the Oilers with 13 kills. Ben Vaught added eight. Alex Wolf and Shane Holdaway had four apiece.

Ryan Moss and Augie Miller were all-tournament selections for the Sea Kings.

“The one thing I saw in this team was a sense of confidence watching them play,” CdM coach Steve Conti said of his team. “I think a lot of teams get intimidated by that team and I’ve seen our team get that way in the past when they were younger, but I’ve seen our kids mature a ton and they showed some maturity and poise on the court.”

In Division 2:

Francis Parker of San Diego 2, Woodbridge 0: The Warriors (10-6) had some early success in the first set, but the Lancers rallied to take the opening set and won the match, 25-20, 25-18. Ruben Lopez, Josh Bright and Josh Evers were selected to the all-tournament team for the Warriors.

“On Saturday, I think we played some of the best volleyball we’ve played all year,” Woodbridge coach Alan Ho said. “The stage was maybe a little too big for us right now. I think this (tournament) was all a learning process. We have to clean things some up, obviously the potential is there. We’re doing some good things, we just have to find that consistency to be able to close things out.”

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