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Volleyball playoffs elude Warriors

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook High School’s boys volleyball team finished the 2023 season with a 14-17 record, which was not sufficient to give the Warriors a berth in the CIF Division III playoffs.

Twelve teams were selected for the Division III playoffs. Del Lago Academy, who defeated the Warriors during the season, was the No. 11 seed. Chula Vista High School had the final seed in the playoffs.

“The boys just didn’t always perform at their optimum at crucial times. We gave up too many games,” Fallbrook coach Chip Patterson said.

The match against Del Lago went five games. Fallbrook won the first two sets before the Firebirds won the next two games and then the 15‑12 deciding fifth game.

“That was kind of hard,” Patterson said.

The Warriors were 4-6 in Valley League play, which placed Fallbrook fourth in the six-team standings. League competition for the Warriors began Friday, March 17, at Mission Vista High School, and the Timberwolves won that 25-18, 25-10, 25-23 match. A non-league home match Monday, March 20, against Santa Fe Christian High School ended as a 25-16, 25-18, 25-20 Eagles victory.

Fallbrook resumed league play March 23 at San Pasqual High School. The Warriors prevailed in the 25-19 first set. San Pasqual won the 26-24 second game. Fallbrook secured the match with 25-20 and 25-17 wins in the final two games.

A March 24 trip to Pacific Ridge High School for a non-league match produced a 25‑17, 26‑24, 25-11 Firebirds triumph. Fallbrook traveled to Orange Glen High School for a March 28 non-league match and won in five games. The Warriors began with 25-23 and 25-21 victories. The Patriots then won 25‑22 and 28-26 sets. In the deciding fifth game, Fallbrook was on the preferred end of the 15-12 final score.

Oceanside High School is a league opponent, and the Pirates won all three games during the March 29 league match in Fallbrook. The Warriors concluded the month with a March 31 non-league match at Liberty Charter High School which was a 25-22, 25-16, 25-17 Lions win.

Spring break preceded the Warriors’ April 12 league match at Escondido High School. The Cougars prevailed in 25-17, 25-20, and 25‑20 sets.

The Falcon Varsity Tourney hosted by O’Farrell Charter High School took place April 14-15. Fallbrook’s matches were a 25-15, 25‑12 loss to Monte Vista High School; a 25-8, 25-9 victory over Bonsall High School; a 25-9, 25-15 triumph against Crawford High School and a 25-20, 22-25, 15-12 loss to Montgomery High School.

Fallbrook’s final six matches were all league competitions. The April 17 match at Oceanside was a four-game Pirates victory. Mission Vista traveled to the Warriors’ gym for an April 19 match and returned home with a 25-19, 20-25, 25-10, 25-23 win.

The Warriors put together their longest winning streak of the year. Fallbrook hosted Valley Center April 21 and won the 25-27, 25-16, 25-17, 25-16 match. The Warriors’ April 24 match in Valley Center High School had a 25-18, 25-14, 25-15 score. The winning streak was extended to three matches April 26 at home against San Pasqual when the Warriors prevailed in 25-15, 25-19, and 25‑21 sets.

Escondido won the Valley League championship with a 9-1 record against league opposition, and the Cougars completed league and regular-season play April 28 with a 25-14, 25-15, 25-17 victory at the Warriors’ expense. That also ended Fallbrook’s season.

“We were a better team,” Patterson said.

Fallbrook had five seniors this year: Jacob Avila, Lucio Leal, Emiliano Lopez, Rodrigo Lopez and Manava Pedro.

“For four years we’ve been building that team,” Patterson said.

The Warriors participated in the 2021 and 2022 CIF playoffs.

“We’ve been making the playoffs every year,” Patterson said.

Patterson had expected his team to be in the 2023 playoffs.

“I thought we had a real good shot,” he said. “Now we’ve got to focus on rebuilding. That’s all we can do now, prepare for the next season.”

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].


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