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Breakers struggle

Breakers Roundup

are swept

Boys' volleyball team can't compete with highly ranked Huntington Beach, which easily wins 25-17, 25-14, 25-19.

April 05, 2012|By Mike Sciacca
  • Laguna Beach High's Austin Hillemann, right, hits against Huntington Beach High's Matt Butler (3) during the second game Wednesday.
Laguna Beach High's Austin Hillemann, right, hits… (KEVIN CHANG, Coastline…)

Venturing north Wednesday for a key nonleague match against yet another highly ranked opponent, the Laguna Beach boys' volleyball team ran into a buzzsaw in Huntington Beach.

The Oilers, who have been playing on all cylinders as of late, won Wednesday in a sweep by defeating the Breakers, 25-17, 25-14, 25-19. The win allowed Huntington, ranked seventh in CIF Southern Section Division 1, to take a 15-13 series lead on Laguna, which is ranked third in Division 2.

"Nothing went right," Laguna Coach Scott Panaro said. "We made mistakes with our lineup in the third game, and that's on me. Besides that, we didn't compete the way we needed to in order to beat a quality team like Huntington. That's a very good team and we needed to be at our best. We weren't."

Huntington went up, 2-0, in games after cruising to a 25-14 win in the second set. Laguna, which fell to 14-7, came out strong in the third game, leading by as much as two points early. The Breakers held their last lead at 8-7 and the game was tied six other times. The Oilers took the lead for good (10-9) following a serving error by the Breakers.

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Laguna also was hit with three rotation violations throughout the set and Huntington, getting three aces from outside hitter Brendan Sander, went on a 7-0 run to pull away. The Breakers made a late charge, but a put back by Sander closed out the match.

Weston Barnes had 14 kills, Austin Hilleman added seven kills and Jack Winn (12) and Grifan Fair (11) combined for 23 assists for the Breakers.

Huntington's impressive win came one day after the Oilers (11-3) swept past defending-champion Newport Harbor in a battle for the top spot in the Sunset League. The Oilers had swept all four of their league opponents entering Wednesday's match. Their only losses this season have come against teams ranked in Division 1: Servite (No. 2), Mira Costa (No. 3) and Mater Dei (No. 9).

"We're playing really well right now," said Huntington Beach Coach Craig Pazanti, whose squad was playing the second of three matches in three days. "Laguna's a very good team and I told our guys before the game that there should be no letdown. We just beat Newport and I wanted them to stay focused for this match. I was happy with our effort and energy."

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