Fountain Valley, ranked No. 1 in Orange County, had Huntington Beach's 56-match league winning streak down to its last five points in a Sunset League boys' volleyball opener Wednesday at Huntington Beach.
But Jeremy Bart, who had a match-high 40 kills, and Jody Cook-Fisher, who had 27, helped third-ranked Huntington Beach rally for a 10-15, 16-18, 15-11, 15-12, 15-8 victory over the Barons.
"Jeremy and Jody have been there before," said Huntington Beach Coach Rocky Ciarelli, "and like Mike and Nick did last season, they know how to take over when they have to."
Southern Section Division I co-players of the year Mike Grave and Nick Ziegler led the Oilers to a second consecutive Division I championship and fourth consecutive league title last season.
This season, Bart and Cook-Fisher, both returning starters, hope to continue both streaks. And they have the Oilers off to a good start.
Huntington Beach (7-0, 1-0 in league) started the match slowly, losing the first two games. In Game 3, Fountain Valley (5-2, 0-1) pulled even with the Oilers, 10-10, and was poised to win the match.
But Bart took over. He had five kills in the final six points of the game and spiked from the right side to give Huntington Beach a 15-11 victory in Game 3.
Fountain Valley led 12-10 in Game 4 after an ace by Ed Ratledge, who had 28 kills and six blocks. But Cook-Fisher and Bart helped pull the Oilers even.
Cook-Fisher, who had nine kills in the game, spiked from the back row to make it 13-12. Bart blocked Ratledge to make it 14-12 before Ratledge's spike attempt sailed long on game point.
Huntington Beach took the momentum into Game 5. Senior setter Greg Markham, who came off the bench and had 64 assists in the final four games, fed Bart and Cook-Fisher as the Oilers raced to a 10-0 lead.
Fountain Valley closed to within four points, but Bart, who had 11 kills in the game, spiked from the back row for a side out to set up Cook-Fisher's match-winning spike off the block for Huntington Beach's 15-8 victory in Game 5.
"Huntington Beach just wanted it more," Fountain Valley Coach Lori Biller said. "We have to start getting tougher mentally.
"It's so hard because Huntington Beach has controlled the league for so long. Our guys are not ready to win."
Fountain Valley appeared ready in Games 1 and 2. Setter Kurt Seckington, who had 81 assists and 24 digs, set a balanced attack to keep the Oilers guessing. Chris Kosty had 23 kills and 25 digs, Phil Domingo added 12 kills and Brian Myers had 11 kills for the Barons.