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Warrior spikers reach CIF quarterfinals, 20 wins

Fallbrook High School’s girls volleyball team achieved a 20-win season for 2008, ending the season with a 20-14 record including a split of two playoff matches.

The Warriors earned their 20th win in the first round of the CIF Division I playoffs by defeating Otay Ranch in three games, but a loss to top-seeded La Costa Canyon terminated Fallbrook’s season with the quarterfinals November 15.

“I’m proud of our team,” said Fallbrook coach Peter Peng.

Fallbrook’s record included a 4-6 mark in Avocado League play which tied the Warriors for third in the league standings.

The Warriors earned the eighth seed for the Division I playoffs, but since league champions are guaranteed at least one home match the November 13 competition was played at ninth-seeded Otay Ranch.

“It will have to do. It’s too bad we have to drive all the way down there, but the seeding is what it is,” Peng said.

The Mustangs had ended the regular season with a 20-14 record, including a 9-1 mark in Mesa League play.

The Warriors earned 25-23, 25-15, and 25-11 victories over Otay Ranch.

“That was one of our best matches of the season. A very complete match for us,” Peng said.

“Great team performance. Everyone played very well, and we had very positive energy. It was a great way to start off the playoffs,” Peng said. “Our defense had never been better.”

Fallbrook’s league mark tied the Warriors with Mission Hills for third place.

La Costa Canyon, which was ranked third in the entire United States following the end of the regular season, won the Avocado League championship with a perfect 10-0 record in league play while Torrey Pines placed second with an 8-2 league mark.

“Torrey Pines and La Costa have the top team transition in the county,” Peng said. “The longer the ball’s in play, the advantage will normally go to La Costa or Torrey Pines.”

That was to the Warriors’ disadvantage when they faced La Costa Canyon in the quarterfinals.

“It comes down to transition and La Costa, that’s what they do,” Peng said.

The Mavericks improved their season record to 30-1 with 25-15, 25-8, and 25-10 wins at Fallbrook’s expense. “We never got into a rhythm,” Peng said.

“We actually started off the first and third games playing point for point,” Peng said.

The Warriors, however, were unable to overcome runs of points by the Mavericks.

“It creates a little bit of pressure for you to perform,” Peng said. “We just never got into a consistent rhythm after that.”

The Warriors were also unable to utilize outside hitter Sha’Dere McNeal to her fullest ability.

“They actually geared their defense to stop Sha’Dere,” Peng said.

“We did pass better, so we had the advantage most of the night,” said La Costa Canyon coach Pat McDougall.

Peng doesn’t dispute McDougall’s comment. “They served pretty aggressively. Our passing game was inconsistent,” Peng said.

“We tried our best and it’s not the result that we wanted, but we understand what we need to do to get to the next level,” Peng said of the loss to La Costa Canyon.

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