High School Roundup: Oilers open league with two wins

After two matches, Huntington Beach High and Los Alamitos have taken the early lead in the Sunset League girls' volleyball title race.

The Oilers on Tuesday went to 2-0 in league by sweeping host Fountain Valley, 25-9, 25-23, 25-3. Senior setter/opposite Kendra Koelsch had three kills and seven blocks, junior defensive specialist Julia Hennekam seven aces, and senior outside hitter Katie Lespier six kills and eight digs for the Oilers.

The win put Huntington at 18-4 overall.

Fountain Valley slipped to 0-2 in league.

"We came out focused tonight," Huntington Coach Craig Pazanti said. "We've been working on a couple different lineups, and things started to click tonight. In sets one and three, we played very clean. I'd like to see more of that as we move toward the end of the season."

Huntington had started its Sunset League campaign Oct. 3 and rallied for a 24-26, 25-27, 25-17, 25-21, 15-12 win over Newport Harbor. Koelsch and senior middle blocker/opposite Cheyenne Rankin had 15 kills each, senior middle blocker Ally Forsberg and sophomore middle blocker Samantha Brennan had 13 kills each, and sophomore setter Rachel Hall had 38 assists.

"We had a real balanced effort with four girls with double-digit kills," Pazanti said. "It would have been easy for us to give up after being down, 0-2, but I give our girls a lot of credit for continuing to fight against a good team."

The two wins kept Huntington in pace with Los Alamitos. The Griffins, ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 1AA, also are 2-0 after winning by sweep Tuesday at Marina, 25-7, 25-8, 25-5. Junior outside hitter Tiffany Bagley had four kills for the Vikings, who fell to 0-2 in league and 6-10 overall.

"Despite the scores of the match, I was proud of how the girls stayed together as a team and continued to compete against one of the best teams in CIF," Marina Coach Rob Kijewski said.

In a Sunset opener Oct. 3, Edison defeated Marina, 25-21, 25-22, 25-10. Senior opposite Marissa Stubbs had eight kills for Marina.

Edison suffered its first league loss Tuesday, 25-20, 14-25, 25-22, 18-25, 12-15, at Newport Harbor (1-1).

In Sunset games Thursday, Huntington plays host to Marina (5:45 p.m.), and Fountain Valley travels to Newport Harbor (5:30 p.m.).

The Sunset League leader could be established Wednesday when Huntington travels to face Los Alamitos (5:45 p.m.).

Boys' Water Polo

Edison, ranked No. 10 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, reached the title game of the Villa Park Classic Saturday where the Chargers, who were without two starters for the final, lost, 20-9, to Santa Margarita (No. 6, Division 1).

To reach the championship game, Edison defeated El Dorado, 16-3, Glendale (No. 1, Division 4), 10-7, Carlsbad (No. 1, CIF-San Diego Section Division 1), 10-8, and Walnut Creek Las Lomas, 12-11.

Alec Niederland and Justin Harrison of Edison were named to the all-tournament team

"Our goal for the weekend wasn't just to make it into the championship game, but to win the tournament and I really felt that we were in a position to do this," Edison Coach Diggy Riley said. "It was unfortunate and extremely disappointing for the boys that we did not get the opportunity to play at full strength like we had all weekend."

Marina reached the championship game of the Estancia Tournament Saturday. In the final, the Vikings dropped a 7-1 game to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

The Edison "B" team defeated Rialto Carter, 16-9, in the tournament's fifth-place game Saturday.

Huntington Beach, ranked ninth in CIF Southern Section Division 1, survived a wild nonleague game Saturday in La Jolla where the Oilers turned back host The Bishop's, 9-8, in five overtime periods, three of which were sudden-death. The game included a 21-minute period without any scoring.

The Oilers led, 5-1, but trailed, 8-6, before fighting back to tie the score. They got the win when, off a deflected center entry pass, Noah Nelson scored the game-winning goal in the fifth overtime period.

Huntington received significant contributions in the match from Nelson, Dillon Morely, Ethan Wojciechowski, Matt Robert and goalie Alex Wolf who had 15 saves.

"Bishop's was a great game for us," Huntington Coach Brian Anderson said. "They, too, are a storied program and are coached extremely well. Mentally, I think it provided our players clarity and understanding of all the hard work we put in.

"Last year we lost five overtime games. This year, a majority of our wins have been by one or two goals, which means our players are living up to expectations, and are accepting the challenges before them, and responding well."

In a previous nonleague match Oct. 3, host Huntington fell, 20-6, to a Harvard-Westlake team that is ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 1. Morely scored twice and Elias Lule "defended well," Anderson said.

"The score does not truly convey the game," Anderson said. "We battled with that team, and could not convert early on our six on fives, as we earned three [situations] in the first period. But, that is a great program that we will go back-and-forth with for many years to come."

The Sunset League water polo season, which had Edison taking on Huntington, Fountain Valley facing Marina, and Los Alamitos battling Newport Harbor, started Wednesday. Scores from those games weren't available at press time.

CIF Weekly Rankings

Football: Edison (No. 2, Southwest Division); Fountain Valley (No. 5, Southwest Division); Huntington Beach (No. 8, Southwest Division).

Boys' Water Polo: Huntington Beach (No. 9, Division 1); Edison (No. 10, Division 1).

Boys' Cross-Country: Fountain Valley (No. 7, Division 1).

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