Matt Taylor, the one-man wrecking crew on the Huntington Beach High School volleyball team, crushed yet another upset bid Wednesday night. This time it was Edison’s turn to try and stop him.
Taylor had a career-high 49 kills as the Oilers, ranked fourth in Orange County, rallied for a 15-17, 13-15, 15-11, 15-10, 15-12, victory over the sixth-ranked Chargers in the Sunset League opener Wednesday night at Edison.
Taylor, a 6-foot-4 outside hitter, had 36 kills in the final three games. Taylor’s performance stirred memories for Oiler Coach Rocky Ciarelli, a former player himself.
“I used to be able to do stuff like that but I can’t remember back that far,” Ciarelli said. “I thought Matt ran out of gas in the fourth game, but he came back strong in the fifth.”
It was the second time this week that Taylor has bailed out the Oilers. His 10 kills and powerful jump serve helped Huntington Beach overcome a 14-8 deficit against Capistrano Valley Saturday in the semifinals of the Orange County Championships.
“I don’t particularly like us playing from behind all the time,” Ciarelli said. “But I guess the players do. I think it’s better for them to get ahead and give their coach a break.”
The Oilers (3-0, 1-0 in league) got a big break in the fifth game, when Edison’s Josh Snyder served the ball into the net with the score tied, 12-12.
Taylor had a kill and Jeff Vanderwal added an ace to give the Oilers a 14-12 lead. Edison cut the deficit to 14-13 on a Huntington Beach hitting error, but Taylor pounded a kill from the left side to seal the win. Joe McCarthy had 28 kills, Snyder 19 and Brian Sterck 17 for Edison (0-1, 0-1). Kevin Reynolds came off the bench to add 10 kills for the Chargers.
Taylor and setter Ian Adam each had four aces for Huntington Beach. Andy Kijewski added 13 kills for the Oilers.
“Our serving got a little better as the match went on,” Ciarelli said. “