Los Alamitos' Harrison Knott, left, rises to meet Huntington Beach's Ben Vaught at the net during Friday's match.

Huntington Beach keeps undefeated streak going


LOS ALAMITOS – Senior outside hitter TJ DeFalco had 17 kills, but it was his team’s defense that Coach Craig Pazanti wanted to talk about after top-ranked Huntington Beach beat Los Alamitos, 25-17, 25-19, 25-22, Friday night in a Sunset League boys volleyball match.

Huntington Beach (28-0, 7-0) has won 92 consecutive matches.

“The biggest thing I’ve noticed in the past couple of weeks is that our defense is starting to get a lot better,” Pazanti said. “It starts with our blocking and being disciplined and then allowing our defenders to dig balls.

“When TJ, Blake (Diamond) and Davis (Gillett) are back there, we’re going to dig a bunch of balls as long as we’re not making mistakes at the net. … I would say this was one of our better defensive performances of the season.”

Ben Vaught added 11 kills for the Oilers and Sean Morrissey had seven. Josh Tuaniga had 38 assists.

Cole Thompson led the Griffins (21-6, 4-3) with 10 kills.

The upcoming weeks will be interesting for Huntington Beach. The Oilers have their sights set on winning CIF-SS and SoCal Regional titles for the third year in a row.

There is a chance the Oilers won’t have DeFalco, who has signed with Long Beach State, for the entire postseason run.

DeFalco was recently selected to USA Volleyball’s 25-man preliminary roster for the FIVB World League, which begins May 30-31. He is the youngest player on the roster.

DeFalco said the team’s practices begin May 4.

“I’m not going to worry about it too much,” Pazanti said of DeFalco possibly missing matches. “Potentially there might be something there, but I’m going to let it play itself out and see how it goes from there.

“That’s why we’re getting Eric (Beatty) and Sean a bunch of reps. ... But at the same time, I’m confident no matter what roster we put out there.

“I’m hoping for the best for him, but at the same time, it is a long time away. We still have three-four weeks left.”

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