The Huntington Beach High boys' volleyball team entered the season with a lofty ranking of No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division 1. Tuesday on their home floor, the Oilers lived up to their preseason billing.
Huntington opened its 2013 campaign with a sweep, as the Oilers defeated Servite, 25-19, 25-18, 25-19. Senior middle blocker Andrew TenBrink had 14 kills, junior outside hitter Brendan Sander 10 kills, senior setter Matt Butler 13 digs and junior middle blocker Drake Evans had three blocks.
"I thought it was a good match for it being so early in the year," Huntington Coach Craig Pazanti said. "We definitely have a lot to work on, but it is a good place to start. Servite is a good program, so any time you can get a victory over them, it is a good win
Prior to facing the Friars, Huntington held its annual alumni game on Saturday. The game drew players dating to the 1974 season. Among the alumni competing Saturday were former Huntington Coach Rocky Ciarelli, Tom Pestolesi (1978), the men's volleyball coach at Irvine Valley College, and Tony Ciarelli (2008), son of Rocky Ciarelli who was named the American Volleyball Coaches Assn. National Player of the Year as a senior last year at USC.
The current Oilers rallied from a set down to edge their alumni brethren, 20-25, 25-18, 25-23.
Huntington returns to action Thursday for a 7 p.m. home nonleague game against San Jose Bellarmine Prep. The Oilers will play Friday and Saturday at the Best of the West Tournament in Poway.
In other nonleague action Tuesday, Fountain Valley took a 25-13, 26-28, 25-23, 25-19 match from visiting Sage Hill, Ocean View, in its season opener, was swept by Westminster La Quinta, 25-13, 25-12, 25-16, and Edison fell in three sets at San Clemente (No. 6, Division 1), 25-21, 25-21, 25-13.
Fountain Valley (2-0) hit .500 as a team in its first set win against Sage Hill but the Barons missed six serves and hit only .081% as a team in the second game, a 28-26 setback in which Barons middle blocker Andrew Wise was a bright spot with six kills in seven attempts and hit .857%. Senior outside hitter Alvin Truong had four kills and two aces to lead the Barons in the third set, a 25-23 win. Truong also had four kills, opposite Scott Cronick had five kills, and Coach Todd Hanson said sophomore setter Garrett Felix led the team with "some great serving, a few key blocks and solid setting," in the match-clinching, 25-19 win in the fourth set.
Sage Hill was ranked fifth in Division 4.
"We came out strong and then decided that we could coast the rest of the match, and Sage Hill had another thought for us," Hanson said. "We need to maintain our focus better no matter which members of the team are on the court."
In Ocean View's 3-0 loss to La Quinta, Taivasa Alama and Calvin Vang both had nine kills for the Seahawks.
"With a new varsity team this year, we still have a lot of adjustments to make," Ocean View Coach Seth Cutrell said. "Going forward, we need to tighten our defense and look for better opportunities to score."
Fountain Valley and Ocean View will challenge each other Monday in a 4:30 p.m. nonleague match at Ocean View.
Edison swept two Trinity League opponents in nonleague play in the past week.
The Chargers first rallied from a 2-1 deficit in games, to pull out a 25-22, 12-25, 18-25, 25-19, 15-11 win at Santa Margarita on Feb. 28.
"Our passing was not good throughout the match," Edison Coach Trent Jackson said. "We did not take care of the ball on some easy scoring opportunities, and we got lucky to get out of there with a win."
On Saturday, Edison again rallied, this time from two games down, to emerge with a 23-25, 21-25, 25-12, 25-21, 15-10 win over visiting Servite.
Ocean View, which reached the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 3A playoffs two weeks ago, received a bid to compete at the CIF State Championships. The Golden West League champion Seahawks (23-7) played at Tustin in a first-round Division III game on Wednesday. The score wasn't available at press time.