Granada Hills boys volleyball has been flying under the radar this whole season, but make no mistake about it. They are as talented and as deep as any team within LA City Section and they proved it Wednesday afternoon against a hot Chatsworth team.
The Highlanders made Chatsworth uncomfortable by serving the team out of rotation early and often to come away with a five set victory at home (25-18, 22-25, 25-23, 16-25, 15-13) over its West Valley League rivals.
Granada Hills (12-4-2, 2-0) was led by seniors Adi Fishman and Nick Olinger who were able to overcome a strong performance by Chatsworth outside hitter Khari Osborne. Fishman had 16 kills and Olinger had 12 kills including the match clinging block in the fifth set.
“We all had the mindset that we wanted to win the game,” Olinger said. “We all knew we had what it took to win this game and nothing fazed us. We just had a good mindset.”
Chatsworth (24-4-1, 2-1) was led by Osborne who had 17 kills but much of his team’s damage was self-sustained. The team committed 25 errors which hurt Chatsworth in the third set.
The Chancellors would come back strong in the fourth with Osborne’s attack at the net along Luis Garcia and Alex Farkus providing support. Garcia had 10 kills and Farkus had eight kills with a block.
The fifth was decided by Olinger, Fishman and setter Tyler Cho. Cho finished with 32 assists and his sets allowed Fishman and Olinger to hammer away at the end.
“I think we kinda lost it in set four, they had a good run on us,” Fishman said. “Overall I think my team played great and I don’t think we could have done a better job.”
Granada Hills need just one more burst to win the match and it came down to the aggressiveness at the net by Olinger. Chatsworth’s Luis Garcia sent a booming shot, but Olinger was able to square his hands up and mobbed by teammates after the ball smacked the floor.
“I think it just came down to us staying disciplined and keep ourselves within system as much as possible,” Olinger said.
Chatsworth had won 10 of its last 11 games prior to its loss and will try to correct its hitting errors before Friday’s home matchup against El Camino Real.
The win for Granada Hills meant more then being in the mix for possibly claiming the West Valley League title. It was a quality victory against a quality opponent and will help the Highlanders hold a favorable seed in the playoffs.
“It may be considered an upset to some people because Chatsworth has an amazing team with an amazing record.” Fishman said. “To us we were just playing our game.”