Chargers drop five-set thriller

The Sunset League's top spot was on the line Oct. 13 when second-ranked Edison hosted top-ranked Los Alamitos, and the key CIF Southern Section Division 1-AA girls' volleyball match didn't disappoint. It was the Griffins who survived a torrid, five-set affair, 12-25, 25-18, 25-21, 18-25, 15-13. Cassie Strickland had 25 kills and 19 digs, Tyler Davis had 19 kills and Allie Schuck added 14 digs for the Chargers.

Los Alamitos previously had defeated Edison last month in the title game of the Dave Mohs Orange County Championships.

In other Sunset action Oct. 13, Marina won an exciting match at Huntington Beach, 25-23, 31-29, 21-25, 25-21, and third-ranked Newport Harbor swept Fountain Valley, 25-17, 25-16, 25-10.

In Express League play, Liberty Christian ran its record to 5-0 by sweeping league rivals Eastside and Crystal Cathedral.

The Flames defeated Eastside, 26-24, 25-23, 25-15. Libero Nicole Cheek had 15 digs, outside hitter Rebekah Shouse 21 kills, 13 digs and three aces, and setter Arin Mearig 22 assists.

Shouse had 11 kills and nine digs, opposite Sarah Spitzer six kills, nine aces and eight digs and outside hitter Kylie Burkholder five kills, nine digs and two aces, in a 25-22, 25-23, 25-10 win over Crystal Cathedral.

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Boys' Water Polo

The Edison boys' water polo team continued on its recent roll Tuesday by defeating host Santa Margarita, 10-7, in nonleague play.

The Chargers took a 6-2 lead in the third quarter and cruised to victory. .

Tony Morelli topped the Chargers with three goals. Troy Oates and Justin Harrison both scored twice and Brent Bazzell, Kyle Spreeman and Alec Niederland all scored once. Nate Sfreddo had six saves.

"Our defense continues to be the fuel that is driving our program," Edison Coach Diggy Riley said. "We have had some solid victories and near-wins against some of the top teams in the county over the past week and there is no question that the defense has been the star of the team.

"We matched up our senior center defender, Kyle Spreeman, against their top player, Pablo Carballo, who plays for Mexico's national team, and limited him to no natural goals. Spreeman is flying under the radar in terms of recognition in the boys' season this year. We match him up against the top center every game and he continues to shut them down."

For the second straight year, Edison claimed the title of the Newport Rib Company Classic Tournament. The Chargers defeated Ocean View, 15-5, in the semifinals, and edged University of Irvine, 9-8, in the title game.

Harrison led all scorers with five goals, Bazzell and Oates both scored twice and Sfreddo posted 12 saves against Ocean View, the sixth-ranked team in Division 7. In the final, the Chargers trailed University, 8-7, in the third quarter but held the Trojans scoreless in the final seven minutes. Niederland scored the game-winning goal from the perimeter with 1:38 remaining. Bazzell led all scorers with three goals and Niederland, Oates and Morelli scored two goals apiece.

In a Sunset League game Oct. 12, Edison took a 2-0 second-quarter lead on fifth-ranked (Division 1) Los Alamitos but the Griffins rallied for a 5-3 victory at Newport Harbor High. Sfreddo had 12 saves in the setback.

"I was so proud of our boys' effort, especially on the defensive end," Riley said. "We completely shut them down in their offensive end and battled them to the end. We competed, and that's what matters most to our coaching staff. Play hard every time down the pool, no matter what, and that's what we did."

In other Sunset League action Oct. 12, fourth-ranked Huntington Beach improved to 19-3 and stayed perfect in league play by rolling past Marina, 27-3. Fountain Valley was outscored, 27-2, by second-ranked Newport Harbor.

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Cross-Country

Senior Laura Hollander of Marina was the top senior finisher Saturday in the individual girls' sweepstakes race at the 45th annual Orange County Championships at Irvine Regional Park. Hollander finished the three-mile course in 17 minutes, 14 seconds, which is a school record for the Vikings. She placed second to Newport Harbor junior Paige Tennison, who won the race in 16:59.

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CIF Rankings

Boys' Water Polo: Huntington Beach (No. 4, Division 1); Ocean View (No. 6, Division 7).

Girls' Cross-Country: Marina (No. 7, Division 1).

Girls' Volleyball: Edison (No. 2, Division 1-AA); Ocean View (No. 6, Division 4-AA).

michael.sciacca@latimes.com

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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