Edison High School played relaxed but intense volleyball Wednesday to beat Culver City in three games in the wild-card round of the 4-A Southern Section playoffs.
The Chargers were relaxed enough to try a different formation and play some of their reserves, but intense enough to handle Culver City, 15-3, 15-5, 15-2, at Edison. They advance to meet host El Toro in the first round on Friday.
"I really liked how intense we were out there," Edison Coach John Herman said. "We didn't have any bad spots at all tonight. We kept the pressure on all night. We didn't back off. Now we have to see if we can do that for five games."
If they can, the Chargers (15-2) will be 4-A champions. But first comes El Toro (14-2), the first-place team in the South Coast League. Edison beat El Toro this season in five games.
To prepare for their rematch, Edison tried a 5-1 formation Wednesday instead of its usual 4-2 setup.
"I just wanted to try something different," Herman said. "We can always switch back. It just gives us a little different look and it keeps the other team off balance. They never know if we'll be using the 5-1 or 4-2."
Culver City (13-8) seemed off balance all night, trailing the entire way against the Chargers.
In the first game, the Chargers built a 6-3 lead before reeling off the final nine points with Steve Snyder serving.
"It was one of the better serving games we've had," Herman said. "We only missed three serves all night."
That success continued in the second game. Edison let Culver City pull within 9-4 before scoring six of the next seven points--five with Snyder serving.
Edison put the third game away quickly with the help of reserve Darren Lance, who led his team with 13 kills. His final kill of the evening ended the match.
"We had been flat for a couple of weeks," Herman said. "Everything went right tonight. All the little things were there--the block, the sets. . . .
"We used 14 kids and they all did well. It's nice to have that kind of depth."
Karl Van Reusen, a 6-foot-5 junior, added 10 kills and eight blocks for Edison.
In other 4-A matches:
Irvine 3, Laguna Hills 0--Risto Lindfors had 15 kills and Dave Song 12 to lead host Irvine to a 15-6, 15-7, 15-9 victory.
Woodbridge 3, Capistrano Valley 1--Sophomore Todd Beebe had 12 kills and teammate Mike Manthei added eight kills and six blocks to lead Woodbridge to a 15-3, 10-15, 15-6, 15-3 victory at home.
University 3, Torrance 0--Marc Lee had 10 kills and six aces and Stefan Mumaw had nine kills to lead host University to a 15-8, 15-1, 15-4 victory.
Newport Harbor 3, Rolling Hills 0--Chris Lee had 14 kills and Billy Nguyen 11 to lead visiting Newport Harbor to a 15-9, 15-12, 15-12 victory.
In 3-A wild-card matches:
Esperanza 3, Rancho Alamitos 0--Scott Delaney had 10 kills to lead host Esperanza to a 15-8, 15-5, 15-3 victory. Rancho Alamitos discovered at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday that it would be taking the place of Pacifica as the third-place team from the Garden Grove League because Pacifica had an ineligible player.