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Edison earns payback in beating Newport Harbor in playoff opener

A little more than a month ago, the Edison High girls’ volleyball team was subjected to an upset at Newport Harbor.

The Chargers were beaten up then, playing without the services of junior outside hitter Nikki Logan, who was resting a troublesome knee.

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Edison fell to Newport Harbor in five sets that night, suffering its first loss against the Sailors since Oct. 13, 2014.

For the past month, the Chargers had been fighting for their playoff lives. There were no easy matches in the Surf League, as evidenced by the three-way tie for second place that had to be broken once the regular season had concluded.

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Edison did just enough to earn an at-large bid into the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs, and it culminated in the Chargers receiving the chance to exact their revenge on Thursday night.

Logan had a match-high 15 kills to lead the visiting Chargers to a 27-25, 25-12, 25-21 sweep of the Sailors in the first round.

“I think playing them earlier in league and losing to them kind of made this more of a redemption factor,” Chargers senior setter Aly Fullbright said. “I think everyone brought it.

“Nikki definitely brought her game. She definitely brought energy.”

The Chargers did not go into the postseason completely healthy, as junior setter Emily Sparks and senior opposite Katelyn Sasaki remained out. They were involved in a car accident early last week.

Still, Edison (17-14) showed balance with an ability to strike from anywhere. Logan’s offense was matched by senior opposite Taylor Torchia, who had 13 kills.

In Game 1, the Chargers staved off two game points before Logan delivered a kill on Edison’s first set point.

Junior middle blocker Summer Hanks, who had five kills and 2½ blocks, ended Game 2 with back-to-back kills.

Torchia had six kills in Game 3 as the Chargers worked to complete the road sweep.

“We just keep the motivation, no matter what,” Torchia said. “Even when we’re down, we still come back and bring it at the end.”

Fullbright had 41 assists and four kills. Senior outside hitter Samantha Schofield added eight kills and five service aces, and senior middle blocker Maggie Gunther chipped in with six kills.

Chargers coach Matt Skolnik praised Fullbright for running the offense well in a win-or-go-home scenario.

“She was great,” Skolnik said. “She’s a senior, and she is ready to step up her game at the end of her senior year. She’s a competitor, a great kid, a great athlete and was not going to go down without a fight.”

Edison will remain on the road to face No. 4-seeded Lakewood St. Joseph (23-6) on Saturday.

Senior outside hitter Allison Crandell led Newport Harbor (10-21) with nine kills. Senior opposite Kendall Bagby and sophomore outside hitter Ava Gonzalez each had five kills. Junior middle blocker Kelly Crane-Sugden provided four kills and a block off the bench. Junior setter Jasmine Amirie distributed 24 assists to go with three aces.

Newport Harbor shared the inaugural Wave League championship with Laguna Beach. The Sailors made the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

“What they did really well is they didn’t let the ball hit the floor,” Sailors coach Dan Glenn said of the Chargers. “That’s a reflection of their coach. They play really good defense. They played really hard, so it was tough to earn points against them.

“That first set could have gone either way. Bottom line is that any time we kind of got on a run, they won the long rallies tonight. That’s why they won the match.”

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