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Warrior spikers win on Senior Night

Fallbrook High School’s girls’ volleyball team has struggled this year, but the Warriors were able to achieve their first league win November 2 on Senior Night.

The Warriors honored seniors Roxanne Barnes-Smith, Ellyn Grantham, Jessica Kohls, Leigh Lawrence, and Jenelle Madden prior to Fallbrook’s final home game of the season.

The night concluded with a four-game win over Mission Hills.

“The league win helps, but it was just how we played,” Fallbrook coach Peter Peng said of the 19-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-12 victory. “It’s a wonderful team. They get along, and they’re definitely unique.”

The Warriors lost four seniors from the 2008 team, three of whom are now on NCAA Division I rosters.

While the 2009 Warriors lack last year’s standouts, the team is more balanced. That team aspect, however, enhanced the consequences when one member was lost.

In the season opener the Warriors lost Barnes-Smith for two weeks to a sprained ankle. Although she returned for league play, an ankle injury has cost Fallbrook the on-court services of Tess Sutton.

Illnesses also left Peng with less than a full squad during several league games. “When league started we were still under the weather,” he said.

After the win over Mission Hills, Fallbrook closed out the regular season November 4 with a loss to La Costa Canyon.

Grantham, who underwent shoulder surgery last year, reinjured her shoulder on the third play of the game. “Our team was a little bit demoralized,” Peng said.

While the Warriors’ 1-9 Avocado League record placed Fallbrook last in the league standings, the team’s 4-18 final regular-season overall record does not include the Palm Desert Tournament, in which Fallbrook won six of seven matches and the tournament championship.

The September 19 matches do not count in the overall season record because they were not regulation length.

Fallbrook’s other three regular-season wins were in the Southern California Invitational, the Warriors’ only other tournament of the season, in which the Warriors reached the Silver Division semifinals before a loss to Silver Division champion La Sierra High School of Riverside.

Peng noted that only four of Fallbrook’s opponents won by blowout margins. “Everyone else has been a battle,” he said.


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