The Orange County Championships boys' volleyball tournament gets underway Friday with four local teams vying for the title.
Hosts Edison, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, and Marina, are among 32 teams competing in the three-day tournament which continues Saturday and concludes with championship-round action next Monday .
In addition to the local teams, other teams set to compete at the tournament are: Beckman, Canyon, Corona del Mar, Claremont, Dana Hills, El Dorado, El Toro, Esperanza, Foothill, Francis Parker, JSerra, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Lakewood, Los Alamitos, Mater Dei, Mission Viejo, Newport Harbor, Northwood, Orange Lutheran, Sage Hill, San Clemente, San Juan Hills, Santa Margarita, Servite, Tesoro, Woodbridge, and Yorba Linda.
In boys' volleyball action Monday, Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach won by sweep, and Marina was victorious in four games in nonleague play.
Fountain Valley improved to 3-0 with a 25-15, 25-10, 25-15 victory over host Ocean View. the Seahawks. The Barons, who played the match without starting middle blocker Jasen Pacis (illness), held control for most of the match.
"I put in a couple of subs at the beginning, and we did pretty well once we found our rhythm," said Fountain Valley Coach Todd Hansen who didn't have starting middle blocker Jasen Pacis (illness) for the game. "We also had the chance to rest our starters for the third game."
Senior opposite Scott Cronick, who is headed next year to the University of Hawaii, had a team-high 13 kills and three aces for the Barons. His final ace sewed up the match. Junior middle blocker Elvis Williams had five kills. Outside hitter Tyler Pennella served up five aces in the match.
Pennella recently returned to the line-up. The senior suffered a broken ankle in a Sunset League game last year against Marina, then re-broke the same ankle during a December practice, Hansen said.
"He's one of our best passers, and one of our best defenders, and it's nice to have him back," Hansen said. "He missed two months of the off-season."
Ocean View, which fell to 0-3, was led by team captains, senior outside hitter Calvin Vang and senior opposite Taivasa Alama with eight kills apiece, and junior middle blocker Khemit Osborne who had three blocks.
"We play teams like Fountain Valley, like Mater Dei, to help us get ready for our (league) season," Ocean View Coach Seth Cutrell said. "Next, we go to Marina. Games like these, hopefully, will get us ready for league and prepare us for CIF."
The Seahawks travel Thursday for a 6 p.m. nonleague game at Marina. The Vikings on Monday took a 26-24, 25-14, 28-30, 25-17 match from visiting Warren. Junior outside hitter Logan Atkeson led the Vikings with 21 kills.
"Tonight (Monday) was our first match of the season and with a lot of young, new starters, we were a bit shaky, to start with," Marina Coach Rob Kijewski said. "Logan Atkeson helped the young guys weather our inconsistent start and ti was good to get a win in our first home match."
Marina (5-3) previously competed at the Foothill Tournament. After an 0-3 start at the two-day event, the Vikings won their final three matches to win the Copper bracket on Saturday.
Huntington captured fifth-place Saturday at the Best of the West tournament in Poway. The Oilers went 5-1 at the event with wins against Granite Bay, Carlsbad, Orange Lutheran, St. John Bosco and Redondo Union. Their only loss came in the quarterfinals to Palos Verdes.
In the fifth-place match against Redondo Union, junior middle blocker Drake Evans had six kills on eight attempts. Senior setter Matt Butler made the all-tournament team.
Huntington (7-1) played the two-day tournament without starting outside hitter, junior Brendan Sander (sore back).
"Due to this (Sander's absence), it was a great effort, using several different line-ups throughout the weekend," Huntington Coach Craig Pazanti said. "A lot of guys had to step up in new spots, and did a great job."
Prior to the tournament, Huntington gave what Pazanti termed a "great team effort," in knocking off San Jose Bellarmine Prep, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20. Sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco led the way with 13 kills, 10 digs and three aces.
Ocean View gained an invite to the CIF State Division 3 playoffs last week and the Seahawks were eliminated from the Southern California Regionals tournament after a 65-48 defeat at Tustin March 6.
Sophomore guard Kendall Small led Ocean View in scoring with 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to go with three assists and two steals. Senior Josh Mishler, a team co-captain with Small, scored 13 points in his final game for the Seahawks. Mishler led the Seahawks early with six points in the opening quarter. Junior guard Dillon Reise had seven points and nine rebounds, and junior guard Jelani Jackson scored four points and had eight rebounds.
The Seahawks, who never led in the game, won the Golden West League championship, reached the CIF Southern Section Division 3A semifinals, and finished the year 23-8.
Tustin, which with the win won its 17th-straight game and set a school single-season record for victories (31), lost its next game. The Tillers (31-3), who captured the CIF-SS 3AAA championship last month, were eliminated after a 57-45 home loss to Cathedral Catholic of San Diego on Saturday .
"I thought we had a great season," Ocean View Coach Tim Walsh said. "This [game] was something extra for us, and I thought we had a good chance . We didn't play as well, overall, as I had hoped. But, this season was a good step in the right direction for us."
CIF weekly polls (week of March 11)
Boys' volleyball: Huntington Beach (No. 5, Division 1).