USA News

No. 1 Newport Harbor boys volleyball defeats Huntington Beach in league showdown

NEWPORT BEACH — The No. 1-ranked team played like a No. 1 team should.

Newport Harbor, the top boys volleyball team in the CIF Southern Section Divisions 1/2 rankings, defeated No. 6 Huntington Beach in four sets, 25-22, 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, Friday in a Surf League match at Newport Harbor High.

Newport Harbor, last season’s CIF-SS Division 1 champion, is 21-1 overall and 3-0 in league. Huntington Beach is 18-4 overall and 2-1 in league.

Sailors senior outside hitter Luca Curci had a match-high 22 kills. The UCLA signee also had four aces.

Newport Harbor senior outside hitter Jake Read, who signed with Loyola of Chicago, contributed 20 kills and two aces. Junior outside hitter Riggs Guy added 10 kills and two aces, and senior setter Korbin Francisco had 51 assists for Newport Harbor.

“I think our balance showed tonight,” said Newport Harbor coach Andrew Mabry. “It was a long, grueling match. At different points we were able to score from every position.”

Huntington Beach senior outside hitter Liam Phinizy, also a Loyola of Chicago signee, led the Oilers with 19 kills. Junior setter Jake Pazanti, who committed to Long Beach State, finished with 41 assists.

Newport Harbor’s chief rival in the sport is Corona del Mar, but there is plenty of heat in the Sailors-Oilers rivalry, too, as shown in the body language and occasional vocalizations during the match.

“We played hard and played with a lot of heart,” Curci said.  “Even through they were talking to us we didn’t back down. We held our ground and played our game.”

The match had a few momentum swings and the usual power hitting and wild digs that are common in a Huntington Beach-Newport Harbor boys volleyball match.

The teams traded the lead for much of the first half of the first set.  A Curci kill put the Sailors on top to stay 12-11.

Huntington Beach had a 23-20 lead in the second set. Newport Harbor then scored the next five points, including two service aces by Riggs, and Read slammed the winning point for the Sailors’ 25-23 win.

Huntington Beach scored seven of the third set’s final nine points to win it 25-20.

Newport Harbor never trailed in the fourth set. Curci’s cross-court kill supplied the match-winning point.

Mabry said Newport Harbor needed the challenge that Huntington Beach provided Friday.

“As the season goes on the intensity of the match changes,” he said. “This was a good test tonight for us to feel that.”

Newport Harbor and Huntington Beach play each other again at Huntington Beach on April 19, the final night of the regular season for both teams.

File source

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button