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Warrior spikers go 1-2 in August matches


Last updated 9/21/2017 at Noon

Fallbrook High School’s girls volleyball team played three matches in August, winning its season opener Aug. 22 at home against Mount Carmel before losing home matches Aug. 23 against Murrieta Mesa and Aug. 28 against Mission Vista.

“We’re very competitive,” Fallbrook coach Chip Patterson said.

Last year Mount Carmel reached the championship match of the CIF San Diego Section Division II playoffs, Murrieta Mesa advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs, and Mission Vista lost in the first round of the San Diego Section’s Division I playoffs.

“They were pretty tough,” said Patterson of the three teams.

Fallbrook defeated Mount Carmel in three games, winning by scores of 25-23, 25-23 and 25-20.

“It was the season opener with no pressure,” Patterson said. “There was no expectation of winning at that point.”

Only three of last year’s starters are back, and only six of this year’s 13 varsity players were on the varsity last year.

“Seven of them are brand spanking new,” Patterson said.

The roster consists of four seniors, two juniors and seven sophomores.

“We are a young team,” Patterson said.

The Warriors’ seven starters are senior outside hitter Emma Christopherson, senior opposite hitter Natalie Weber, junior libero Madison McCarty, junior middle blocker Skyler Traut, sophomore setter Vanessa Dalton, sophomore middle blocker Sonsi Jarvis and sophomore outside hitter Maddie Nachsteim. Christopherson, McCarty, and Traut are the three returning starters from last year’s team. Fallbrook lost in the second round of last year’s Division II playoffs, and the Warriors posted a 26-6 overall record in 2016.

Murrieta Mesa obtained a 25-20, 25-23 and 25-21 victory at Fallbrook’s expense.

“We scrapped with them, but they executed very well,” Patterson said.

Fallbrook did not match the Rams’ execution.

“We had too many service errors,” Patterson said.

Mission Vista began the Aug. 28 match with a 25-21 triumph in the first game. Fallbrook countered with a 25-20 victory in game two. The Grizzlies completed the match with 25-16 and 26-24 wins in the final two sets.

“We should have beat them because we had them every game except for one,” Patterson said. “Passing totally broke down.”

The inability to execute passes forced the Warriors to try other attack strategies.

“We had to do a lot of adjusting,” Patterson said.

Patterson and his assistant coaches will be working with the players to eliminate the mistakes which cost the Warriors their final two matches of August.

“There are certain things that we can’t afford to do,” he said.

Valley League competition opens with a Sept. 28 home match against San Pasqual.

“What you really play for is the league,” Patterson said. “The ultimate is to win the Valley League.”

Last year Fallbrook finished second in the Valley League standings with a 6-2 record. Ramona had an 8-0 league mark for the 2016 season, and during the three years Fallbrook has been in the Valley League, the Bulldogs have won all three league championships while losing only one league match during that time. Fallbrook was the only team to win a set in league play against Ramona last year.

Ramona also returns three starters from last year's team, although one of those returning starters left the Bulldogs 2016 Valley League opener with a knee injury and did not play for the remainder of the season.

“All you can do is prepare,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to make it over eight bumps in the road to claim that league title.”

Fallbrook’s regular season will conclude with league home matches Oct. 25 against Valley Center and Oct. 27 against Ramona.

“I’m looking forward to the rest of the season,” Patterson said. “They’re going to do some great things.”


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