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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Warriors share third in volleyball league standings


Last updated 11/3/2018 at 6:37pm

The Valley League girls volleyball season ended Oct. 18, and Fallbrook High School finished with a 5-5 league record which gave the Warriors a share of third place in the six-team league standings.

“Going 5-5, that wasn’t where I thought we would end up this year,” Fallbrook coach Chip Patterson said. “I thought we would end up at least in second place. That was kind of disappointing to finish .500.”

The Warriors’ overall record was 19-17.

“Consistency, it was our biggest problem this year,” Patterson said.

Some of that consistency problem was mental.

“That was probably our biggest downfall,” Patterson said.

A torn meniscus deprived the Warriors of senior Vanessa Dalton for most of the league season and for two tournaments, so injury and illness losses for various matches created an inconsistent lineup.

“That didn’t help any,” Patterson said.

Dalton, who is one of Fallbrook’s four seniors, tore her meniscus in the Warriors’ second league match of the season Sept. 20 at Mission Vista High School The Warriors’ Oct. 10 home match against Escondido High School was Senior Night, and Dalton played briefly against the Cougars, serving for three points and making one dig to close out her high school career, which could occur in June if she is selected for the senior all-star doubleheader which is played after the conclusion of the boys’ volleyball season.

Gabby Vazzana took over as the Warriors’ setter after Dalton was lost, although the junior had no previous experience setting in a 5-1 formation with a single setter.

The Warriors lost their first three league matches before concluding the first round of league play with a 25-16, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21 home win Sept. 27 against Valley Center High School and a 25-15, 25-19, 25-18 triumph over San Pasqual High School at home Oct. 2.

Mission Vista, which returned to the Valley League this year and finished in second place, won two five-game matches against the Warriors. In both cases the Timberwolves won the first two games, the Warriors captured the third and fourth sets, and Mission Vista took the fifth game. The Sept. 20 competition at Mission Vista had a 25-11, 25-21, 13-25, 24-26, 15-13 score in favor of the Timberwolves. The Oct. 9 match in Fallbrook was a 25-19, 25-23, 19-25, 22-25, 15-12 Mission Vista victory.

Because of the Oct. 5-6 SoCal Invite tournament, Fallbrook’s home match against Escondido was rescheduled from Oct. 4 to Oct. 10, so the Warriors had league matches on three consecutive days. League play for Fallbrook began Sept. 18 with a 25-18, 18-25, 25-18, 25-20 loss at Escondido, but the Oct. 10 rematch was a 22-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 15-11 Warriors win.

Escondido junior outside hitter Samara Cruz contributed to Fallbrook’s loss in the first round of league play.

“We did not stop that one girl,” Patterson said. “We did not put any pressure on her.”

An ankle injury limited Cruz in the second match, so her physical restrictions allowed the Warriors to put pressure on her.

“She still played well,” Patterson said.

Escondido also finished the season with a 5-5 league record to share third place with Fallbrook. The Cougars held a two-match lead over the Warriors after the Oct. 11 matches when Escondido defeated Valley Center in three games and Ramona High School prevailed over Fallbrook in three sets. Because Ramona had previously defeated Mission Vista twice in league play, which accounted for the two losses in the Timberwolves’ 8-2 final league record, the Bulldogs clinched the league championship with their 25-11, 25-19, 25-23 victory at Ramona.

Ramona, which was given the second seed in the CIF Division I playoffs, thus became the first Division I team to sweep the Warriors in a 2018 match. The Bulldogs needed four sets to defeat Fallbrook in the Sept. 25 match in Fallbrook, and during the Sept. 28-29 Scripps Ranch Tournament which utilized best-of-three matches, Fallbrook lost in three games to San Marcos High SChool and to San Dieguito Academy. An Aug. 23 non-tournament match at San Marcos took four games for the Knights to prevail over the Warriors.

“We can play with anybody,” Patterson said.

Fallbrook is in Division II for CIF playoff purposes and received the 13th seed.

The Warriors’ Oct. 16 match at San Pasqual was a 23-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-14 Fallbrook win. Ramona followed that day’s Senior Night ceremonies with a three-game win over Escondido which improved the Bulldogs’ league record to 9-0 and narrowed Escondido’s margin over Fallbrook to one match.

Ramona’s league season concluded with a four-game victory Oct. 18 at San Pasqual. Mission Vista hosted Escondido that day and won in four games. The Cougars’ loss in conjunction with Fallbrook's 25-23, 25-19, 25-18 triumph at Valley Center that day salvaged a share of third place for the Warriors.

“It’s frustrating because you know that they are so much better,” Patterson said. “They’re so much better than what they showed.”


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