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    Huntington Beach girls volleyball sweeps rival Los Alamitos in Division 1 playoffs
    • October 25, 2023

    HUNTINGTON BEACH — The Huntington Beach girls volleyball team came away with a 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 victory over Los Alamitos in the second round of play the CIF SS Division 1 playoffs on Tuesday at Huntington Beach High School.

    The match was more of a battle between the two Surf League rivals than a 3-0 sweep would indicate.

    The Oilers (29-7), the third-seeded team in the eight-team Division 1 playoffs, came from five points down in the first set and stayed composed after giving up a 6-0 run to allow the No. 7 Griffins to come back in the third set.

    Huntington Beach is 2-0 in Pool B in Pool B and will play No. 2 Mira Costa, which is also 2-0, on Saturday at Mira Costa. Both teams have swept both of their matches in pool play

    The winner of Saturday’s match will play the winner of pool A for the Division 1 championship on Nov. 4 at Cerritos College.

    The Oilers are trying to win the program’s first CIF-SS title since 1996.

    The Huntington Beach volleyball team celebrates after sweeping Los Alamitos in the second round of Pool B in the CIF SS Division 1 playoffs on Tuesday, Oct. 24. (Photo by Lou Ponsi)

    A pair of aces from Noalani Nuez and an ace from Brynn Minter helped the Griffins take a 9-4 lead in the first set.

    The Oilers came back, but the Griffins managed to maintain a lead of one to two points until back-to-back kills from Taylor Ponchak and Ellie Esko gave the Oilers their first lead at 18-17.

    Huntington Beach closed out the set on a 4-1 run with Haylee LaFontaine getting the final kill.

    “Knowing that we’re able to come back from certain deficits and just knowing our ability and then using that and just being confident overall just helps us go on those runs and get back in and then get that lead again,” said Addison Williams who had nine kills for the Oilers.

    LaFontaine led the team with 13 kills and Kylie Leopard and Ponchak had 10 and nine kills, respectively.

    Ashley Repetti led the Griffins with 12 kills and Katey Foley had seven kills and two blocks for the Griffins.

    The Oilers put forth just enough of a late surge to take the second set, with Williams getting the final kill.

    In the third set, Huntington Beach led 10-7 before giving up a 6-0 run and falling behind, with five of those points coming on hitting errors.

    Consecutive kills from Repetti gave the Griffins a 21-21 tie, but once again the Oilers went on a late run to put the set and the match away.

    “We had another slow start which we’ve got to get rid of but we came through when we needed to,” Oilers coach Craig Pazanti said.

    Huntington Beach also defeated the Griffins twice in league play.

    All Division 1 teams receive automatic bids to the CIF State playoffs.

    You’ve got to rebound and recover after a loss because you’re not done,” Los Alamitos coach Dave Huber said. “We earned the right to be here and guaranteed four matches. We’re going to get after it four times.”

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    ​ Orange County Register