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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Losses in key matches keep Warriors from volleyball playoff berth


Last updated 6/17/2019 at 9:10am

Fallbrook High School’s boys volleyball team completed the 2019 regular season with a 17-15 overall record, but losses in key matches deprived the Warriors of a berth in the CIF Division II playoffs.

“It was disheartening,” Fallbrook coach Chip Patterson said.

Last year the Warriors reached the CIF Division III final. The playoff divisions are based on competitive balance, and Fallbrook was moved up to Division II for this year.

“We still played well, but at times we didn’t finish,” Patterson said. “That just hurts you when you don’t finish games and take unnecessary losses.”

Power rankings which have win-loss record and strength of schedule as factors are the primary criteria for playoff selection and seeding, but head-to-head competition is also considered when selecting playoff teams and seeds.

The tournament matches are won by the team which wins two sets. Fallbrook played Santana High School during the March 15-16 Del Lago Varsity Tournament. The Warriors defeated Maranatha Christian High School and Madison High School March 15, to start the tournament but concluded the first day with a 25-16, 21-25, 15-13 loss to San Pasqual High School.

The match between Fallbrook and Santana opened March 16 play for the Warriors. Fallbrook won the first game by a 30-28 overscore and took an 11-3 lead in the second set. A Santana player who went under the net on a play landed on Dominik Torrescano, who had to leave the match with an ankle injury.

“Dominik, they couldn’t stop him,” Patterson said.

Another Santana player who ended up under the net during a play landed on Eric Leon, who also had to be removed due to an ankle injury.

“Three or four plays later, there was Eric lying on the floor,” Patterson said.

Santana won the second game by a 26-24 over score to send the match to a third set. The Sultans took a 15-11 victory in the deciding game.

“We should have beat them,” Patterson said.

Santana was given the 12th seed in the CIF Division II playoffs.

“It is what it is,” Patterson said.

Non-tournament matches are won by the team victorious in three sets. Patterson said that the Warriors had other matches they should have won.

“We weren’t closing out teams like we should,” he said.

The match between Fallbrook and Escondido, which was in Division III, took place March 4. The Cougars began with a 25-22 victory, the Warriors evened the match with a 25-22 triumph, Escondido won the third game by a 25-15 score, the Warriors staved off defeat with a 25-21 win in game four and the Cougars prevailed by a 15-5 margin in the deciding set.

“We just couldn’t pass. We broke down on passing,” Patterson said.

The North County Conference league alignments differ from most sports in part because the Vista Unified School District does not have boys volleyball and in part to base the leagues more on level of competition for that sport. This year the Valley League consisted of Fallbrook, Mission Vista, Sage Creek, San Dieguito Academy and Valley Center high school. Sage Creek won all eight league matches to give the Bobcats the league championship. San Dieguito had a 6-2 record. Fallbrook took third place with a 4-4 league mark.

“It’s disappointing,” Patterson said of the season.

The Warriors had six seniors, including four starters on this year’s team. Patterson said he expects that four players including three starters will return for the 2020 squad.

"We’ve really got to do better,” Patterson said. “I’m confident that next year they will do well.”


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