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Huntington Beach fights off challenge from Edison
In a year that has tested the depth of the Huntington Beach girls volleyball team, it only seemed fitting that the Oilers closed the regular season with a balanced performance.
The 10th-ranked Oilers (16-12, 7-3) had four players with 10 or more kills, led by Megan Gibbs with 18, in the 25-17, 17-25, 24-26, 25-16, 15-9 home victory over Edison on Tuesday night.
With the victory, Huntington Beach clinched second place in the Sunset League and will now turn its attention toward the CIF-SS playoffs. Pairings will be announced Saturday afternoon.
Amanda Linzmeyer had 16 kills, and Kendra Koelsch and Ally Forsberg added 12 and 10, respectively.
"We down 2-1 and we knew that they (Edison) were playing for their playoff lives right there," Huntington Beach coach Craig Pazanti said. "It was a great, complete team effort."
Injuries have hampered the Oilers all season long, even through the last match of the regular season.
"Our libero, Kelynn Mullally, is out there battling, she can't even walk right now and she's out there battling with an ankle injury," Pazanti said. "I gave her the option, for her to come out, but for her to stay in there and be an ultimate team player was awesome.
"We haven't put the same lineup on the floor since the Gahr Tournament (back in September). We've had a different lineup almost every single match. That's a tribute to these guys. As frustrating as it has been at times, you have to credit them for dealing with all of the different type of stuff they've been dealing with it."
A victory by Edison would have forced a tiebreaker match to be played Wednesday. However, the Chargers were never able to recover their form that was on display in the second and third sets.
"They (Edison) came out in a different lineup than what we saw the last time, we won that first game pretty much on adrenaline," Pazanti said. "We didn't have the greatest matchups (in sets two and three), but getting us dialed in the right spots in games four and five, we had the matchups that we were looking for."
Edison finishes the season 14-16 overall and 5-5 in the league. To be considered for an at-large berth, teams had to have a record of .500 or better.
"It is a little frustrating," Edison coach Trent Jackson said. "We lost more (matches) than I thought we would lose. I thought we could have beat some teams, but I think our inexperience showed and kept us from that."
Also in the Sunset League
No. 2 Los Alamitos 3, Newport Harbor 0: Crissy Jones led the Griffins (29-3, 10-0) with 10 kills and Annie Hale added nine in the 25-23, 25-21, 25-19 road victory.
Newport Harbor (19-10, 6-4) finished third in league.
In a nonleague match
No. 5 Dana Hills 3, No. 8 Laguna Beach 0: Tia Scambray had 19 kills, 12 digs, five aces and three blocks helping the host Dolphins (23-7) to the 25-22, 25-18, 25-16 victory.
Alyse Wallace Ford led Laguna Beach (16-6) with 13 kills.