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Esperanza's Luck Changes at Huntington Beach

October 11, 2000|MICHAEL ITAGAKI

Esperanza hasn't had much success playing girls' volleyball at Huntington Beach, but the Aztecs didn't look like they were fighting much of a jinx Tuesday.

Esperanza, ranked ninth in the county, out-served and out-passed third-ranked Huntington Beach, playing consistently to post a 15-10, 12-15, 15-11, 15-10 victory in a Sunset League match at Huntington Beach High.

"I can't remember the last time we won here," Esperanza Coach Kurt Kersten said. "Being from an inland school, I think we fight a bit of a mystique when we come down here."

Senior Sarah Engle had 15 kills, four blocks and 27 assists, junior Kristy Chester had 13 kills and 22 digs, and junior Jenny Brickner had nine kills and eight blocks to lead Esperanza (6-3, 3-0 in league).

Huntington Beach (7-3, 2-1) struggled from the beginning and fell behind 13-2 in the first game and 12-2 in the third game before bouncing back to make the game scores a little more respectable.

"We were flat," Huntington Beach Coach Rocky Ciarelli said. "We had beaten [No. 7] Newport Harbor, [No. 5] Corona del Mar and [No. 4] Irvine and maybe our players thought they were the cat's meow.

"But we've been telling them that when league starts, anybody can beat anybody. Tonight, Esperanza played great. They served and passed well, and in volleyball, whoever does that better usually wins."

Huntington Beach looked like it was in position to force a fifth game with Serena Bountour (20 kills, 16 digs) helping the Oilers to an 8-4 lead in the fourth game.

But one of the Oilers' six service errors in the game--they had 18 in the match--gave Esperanza a side out and Chester followed that by serving for five consecutive points to help the Aztecs score nine in a row to take a 13-8 lead.

Sophomore Dyanne Lawlor's kill made it 14-10 and Esperanza won the match on a Huntington Beach hitting error.

"We just all wanted it really bad," Engle said. "This was huge."

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