Oceanside High School girls’ volleyball title more than a century in the making


Oceanside High School. (OsideNews graphic)

Clark Fahrenthold

Oceanside High School has been around for a long time — 116 years to be exact. It is one of the most well-known schools in the greater area and is well regarded for having a storied sports history. However, among all the notable CIF and league titles, one team and program still had yet to capture one.

It seems rather remarkable, but it’s true. The girls’ volleyball program at Oceanside High School had never won a league title in the history of the school. But title droughts always have an end date, and thanks to the 2022 Pirates girls’ beach volleyball team, a league championship banner will forever hang from the gym rafters as they captured this year’s Coastal League title.

“To be honest, going into the season, we were excited to field a team,” Oceanside girls’ volleyball Head Coach Nathan Fristed said. “We had great numbers and participation, and we more looked at it as an opportunity to build and prepare for the indoor season.”

While the original outlook may have been to prepare for the fall indoor season, Fristed and many of the girls on the team soon realized it may be a lot more than just a tune-up.

In their first match of the season vs. a very competitive and thought to be better Canyon Crest Academy team, the girls from Oceanside more than held their own.

“We did extremely well,” Fristed said with a chuckle. “CCA is a good program, but we went there and won on all five lines. I think in some ways we surprised ourselves.”

The win vs. CCA not only moved Oceanside to 1-0, but more importantly it injected the girls with newfound confidence.

“I realized, and the girls, too, that we can compete with anyone,” Fristed said. “My first and second lines played with everyone, and my third, fourth and fifth lines were not only playing well but winning as well. From our two matches with CAA and LCC (La Costa Canyon), they felt like they could beat anyone.”

The early season confidence would only continue to build and yield even more victories as Oceanside would make easy work of league opponents Sage Creek and Escondido high schools, putting them not only at 3-1 but firmly in the driver’s seat to capture the Coastal League title.

Next on the ledger for their final regular-season match was a face-off with neighboring Carlsbad High School. Going into the match, Fristed was operating under the assumption that to win the title, the team would have to win outright to claim the Coastal League title. But that wasn’t actually the case.

“At the start of the match, the AD from Carlsbad came over and told me that no matter what the result today, that we would be league champions,” Fristed said. “It was a surreal moment, but I wanted the girls to stay focused and only informed them after the match. To see their reaction to the news was priceless. They worked hard and played extremely well; they deserved that moment.”

It was a moment more than a century in the making. What the girls on the Oceanside volleyball team did in the spring of 2022 will not be soon forgotten. A message that coach Fristed wanted the girls to see and understand how amazing and important their accomplishment was.

“Knowing in the 116-year history of this school there wasn’t a single volleyball banner for anything was honestly crazy,” Fristed said. “But now there forever will be, and it’s because of what they did. They competed like crazy and worked like crazy everyday to get better.”

Pirates Athletic Director Brad Hollingsworth noted the historic accomplishment in an announcement sent to the Oceanside High School community.

“Coach Nathan Fristed has been able to cobble together a team which had needle-in-the-sand expectations heading into San Diego County’s inaugural beach season,” Hollingsworth wrote. “Well, Oceanside found that needle and now is using it to sew up his championship banner as the Pirates battled their way through opponents and home court to earn the Coastal League title, the first in volleyball in the school’s 116 years.”

But for Fristed, he hopes this league title will end up representing something more and can be looked upon as something to build.

“The program has never won anything until this, but now they have something to look back on, and they’ll know the feeling and know they can beat anyone,” Fristed said. “For these girls, it’s something I think they and the entire program can build on and look to for confidence.”

The 2022 Oceanside girls’ volleyball team accomplished something extraordinary this season. Not every day do you get to erase or end a 116-year title drought. But with a current young team that knows and understands what winning looks and feels like, fans might not have to wait another 116 years to see the next banner hanging from the rafters.

Clark Fahrenthold is a local freelance writer.