“They were talking about getting to the finals.”
The Eagles stopped the Oilers in the first round, pulling off a 25-22, 25-20, 23-25, 25-19 upset at home Tuesday night.
Huntington Beach’s playoff hope looked like it was going to end sooner.
Estancia (19-7) was on the verge of recording a sweep en route to advancing to the second round to play No. 2-seeded Santa Barbara (22-7) Thursday.
For a moment, the Eagles gave life to the third-place Oilers (15-13)out of the competitive Sea View League.
The Eagles in Game 3 led, 20-14. Five points away from qualifying out of the opening round for the third straight year under Huffman.
All of a sudden, the Oilers rallied, forcing another game by closing out the third game on an 11-3 run. None of the current Huntington Beach players had played a postseason match in their careers until Tuesday’s.
“When we got through Game 3, they really started to relax a little bit,” Huntington Beach first-year coach Craig Pazanti said. “I thought if we could get to a fifth game, we might have a good shot.”
Estancia, the second-place team out of the Orange Coast League, made sure it ended in four games.
Eleven times the two teams found themselves tied in Game 4. Estancia middle blocker Maddie Smith broke the final tie with one of her 12 kills.
With Estancia’s Amy Hartwell now serving, Annie Tomasek recorded back-to-back kills.
One came on a devastating blast. The other a tip behind two players at the net.
The Eagles outscored the Oilers, 6-1, to clinch the match.
During the run, Tomasek recorded three of her match-high 20 kills and Smith contributed one of her four blocks.
“We just came out knowing if we lost, we were done,” Tomasek said.
Behind the Eagles’ success was their defense and ability to dig junior outside hitter Kellie Turner’s booming shoots.