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Seven Warriors earn volleyball all-league honors

The Valley League boys volleyball coaches provided all-league recognition to seven Fallbrook High School players.

Justice Patterson and James Prahm were members of the All-League First Team. Matt Araiza and Angel Mercado received second-team distinction. James Brodak, Eric Leon and Thomas Pestolis were honorable mention selections.

“I’m extremely proud of them. They put the work in,” Fallbrook coach Chip Patterson said.

Justice Patterson was one of Fallbrook’s middle blockers and led the team with 136 kills, 76 total blocks, 45 solo blocks, 31 assisted blocks and 135 digs. The senior’s .446 hitting percentage was the team’s superlative figure among players with more than 10 hitting attempts.

“His hard work and his dedication paid off,” Chip Patterson said. “He put in the work over those four years. He played a major role in building this program.”

This year’s Fallbrook team had an overall record of 17-11 including a loss in the first round of the CIF Division III playoffs and a 5-3 figure in Valley League competition which shared second place in the final league standings. The Warriors reached the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Last year’s team was 11-15 overall and 3-7 in Valley League play. Fallbrook was in the Avocado West League in 2014 and 2015; during Patterson’s freshman year, the Warriors lost all 18 season matches, including all 11 Avocado West League contests. In 2015, the Warriors were 5-20 overall and 0-12 in league play.

“He's a great kid, and I’m going to miss him as a player,” Chip Patterson said of Justice Patterson.

Prahm, a junior who transferred to Fallbrook High School from Cathedral Catholic, played both setter and middle blocker during 2017. Prahm had 220 assists and 19 aces, both of which led the team. He also had 84 digs, 73 kills, 19 solo blocks and 23 assisted blocks for a total of 42 and a hitting percentage of .337.

“He was the missing link for this program,” Chip Patterson said. “He's done some amazing things. He’s an extremely smart volleyball player.”

Araiza was a middle blocker. The senior’s 2017 statistics included 46 blocks, consisting of 23 solo blocks and 23 assisted blocks, 34 kills and a .273 hitting percentage.

“Matt made tremendous improvements over the last four years,” Chip Patterson said.

Chip Patterson’s 6-2 format allowed for two setters, so Mercado played setter during his senior season even when Prahm was in the lineup. Mercado had 154 assists, 71 digs and 11 aces.

“In three years, he has managed to improve greatly,” Chip Patterson said.

Last year, Justice Patterson was on the Valley League first team while Araiza, Mercado, and 2016 senior Jake Klingsberg were honorable mention selections.

Brodak, who was a junior, played outside hitter and had 48 digs and 47 kills during the 2017 season. Leon was a defensive specialist who contributed 49 digs as a sophomore.

Pestolis, who was also a sophomore, was Fallbrook’s libero and recorded 89 digs.


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