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Turnout provides good start to Warriors' girls volleyball season

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

After some girls had left Fallbrook High School’s girls volleyball team during the 2021 season Fallbrook athletic director Patrick Walker brought back Chip Patterson as the Warriors’ head coach. The team reached the CIF Division III final and lost in the first round of the CIF state playoffs to conclude the season with a 21-13 record.

The volleyball team had a different type of player problem this year when Patterson was forced to trim the varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen rosters. “We had to cut 45. We had 84 try out,” he said.

Patterson may not have enjoyed making cuts, but he was pleased with the turnout. “Real good number. That’s the biggest turnout I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Patterson was previously the girls head coach from 2014 through 2018 and was also an assistant coach in 2013 when Robin Reese was the head coach.

After Patterson returned last year, the program had 14 players on the varsity, 12 on the junior varsity, and 21 on the freshman team. “That’s just too many girls,” Patterson said.

Some schools have a novice team of first-year players as well as a freshman squad. “I wish we could have a novice team, but we just don’t have the coaching personnel to do more and the school doesn’t want to fund a novice team,” Patterson said.

Tryouts began Aug. 8. After the rosters were determined the first practice took place Aug. 15. The varsity roster has 12 girls, another 13 are on the junior varsity team, and the freshman team has 14 players. “That’s all we kept,” Patterson said.

Seven of the varsity players were also on last year’s varsity, including five who started. “We have enough varsity experience,” Patterson said.

Last year, Bailee Aguila was a middle blocker. She has been a right side hitter in club competition, and Patterson has moved Aguila to that position to 2022. Aguila is currently a senior.

Aguila and current junior Claire Nordeen are Fallbrook’s two returning all-league players. Last year, the Warriors were 8-2 in Valley League play to finish second in the standings.

Nordeen and current senior Harley Benitez were both on the 2021-22 Fallbrook High School girls basketball team which won the CIF Division II championship. “Hopefully they can bring that drive to volleyball,” Patterson said.

This year, the Warriors have been promoted to Division II for girls volleyball. “I look forward to the season,” Patterson said. “As long as the starters continue to play, stay healthy, I think we’ll do fine.”

 

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