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Warrior spikers fifth in North County Invitational


Last updated 4/26/2007 at Noon

Fallbrook High School’s boys volleyball team finished fifth in the North County Invitational played March 30-31 at the Epic Volleyball Center in Poway.

The Warriors won three of six matches, concluding the tournament hosted by San Pasqual High School with a loss in the quarterfinals.

The Warriors finished third in their four-team pool. “We had indisputably the toughest pool as it worked out. It probably had something to do with us finishing third,” said Fallbrook coach Tom Saunders. “We had a pretty good pool that first night.”

Three of those four pool teams reached the tournament quarterfinals; Rancho Bernardo and University City joined the Warriors among the final eight.

The Warriors started the March 30 pool play portion with a 25-22, 25-17 win over West Hills. Taylor Hughes had 12 kills while four other players contributed three kills apiece. “Everybody got a little bit of it,” Saunders said.

The next pool play match was a 17-25, 19-25 loss to University City. “That was a little disappointing,” Saunders said. “I don’t think my team was expecting this kind of a battle.”

Hughes led the team with nine kills, and the team had no service aces. “We really didn’t log a lot of offense,” Saunders said. “Not a great performance on our part.”

Saunders felt that the Warriors had the talent to defeat University City. “That’s one of those that will come back to haunt us,” he said.

The final pool play match was a 14-25, 17-25 loss to Rancho Bernardo.

The March 31 competition began with a crossover match which was followed by re-seeding. Fallbrook played another third-place team, Granite Hills, which is also a CIF Division I school. Fallbrook’s 25-13, 25-13 win over the Eagles will thus allow for head-to-head comparison during playoff seeding discussion. “That will help us a little bit,” Saunders said.

Taylor Hughes was successful on all 12 kill attempts and had seven service aces in 15 serves against the Eagles. “It was really a Taylor Hughes show,” Saunders said. “Taylor Hughes was on fire.”

The match also saw the season debut of setter Erick Sampson, the team’s Most Valuable Player and an all-league selection in 2006, who rolled his ankle in a March 1 scrimmage and had not played prior to the Granite Hills match. “We didn’t get him in a lot, but I wanted him to give it a go,” Saunders said.

Sampson played in the second game of the Granite Hills match while seeing action in both games of Fallbrook’s next match, a 25-19, 25-8 win over the Poway B team. The Poway B team, which filled in for Beverly Hills High School at the last moment when traffic prevented the trip from Los Angeles County in time, had finished second in its pool.

The win over Poway B sent Fallbrook to the quarterfinals, where in a rematch against Rancho Bernardo the Broncos advanced with a 25-19, 25-20 victory at the Warriors’ expense. “Played them a little better,” Saunders said.

“We had young guys in there who haven’t really been playing in the lineup,” Saunders said. “We were digging balls, blocking balls, so it was kind of exciting.”

Sampson didn’t play against Rancho Bernardo, but Kyle Chaisson fared well as the starting setter. “Kyle Chaisson had a good weekend. He played well for us,” Saunders said.

Hughes had 14 kills in a losing effort against the Broncos.

“We’re going to keep trying to develop the other players,” Saunders said.

The 3-3 result in the tournament gave Fallbrook a 6-5 season record.


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