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Scrimmage shows need for Warrior spikers to improve passing

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Scores of scrimmages are not officially reported, and the purpose of scrimmages is to assess how a team’s players perform against an opponent whose strategies are unknown. Fallbrook High School’s girls volleyball team thus won’t be assessed an official loss for the result of the Warriors’ Aug. 11 scrimmage at home against Temecula Valley High School, but Fallbrook head coach Chip Patterson assessed a need to avoid losses during the regular season.

“We just didn’t pass well,” Patterson said.

“We’re going to have a challenge,” Patterson said. “We most definitely have to get better at passing, or this is going to be a very short season.”

A CIF playoff match and wins in tournament elimination rounds allowed the Warriors to play 39 matches in 2022. The 20-19 record includes a loss to Pacific Ridge in the first round of the CIF Division II playoffs and a 7-3 Valley League mark which was worth second place in the league standings.

Eight players from the 2022 varsity return to the 2023 team including three starters. The two 2023 captains are seniors Claire Nordeen and Alexa Van Eik.

Nordeen is Fallbrook’s setter. She was an all-league first team selection last year. “She’s somebody to reckon with,” Patterson said.

The Valley League coaches gave Van Eik honorable mention all-league recognition for 2022. She was Fallbrook’s libero last year and has transitioned to an outside hitter for 2023.

This year’s varsity roster has 13 players. Another 13 girls are on the junior varsity squad, and 15 others are on the freshman team. Emma Christopherson, who played for the Warriors for four years before graduating in 2018, is Fallbrook’s junior varsity coach. Jose Espino is the coach of the freshman team. Patterson’s wife, Leilani, is the varsity assistant coach. Approximately 80 girls tried out for Fallbrook’s teams, so approximately half of those had to be cut.

The junior varsity team unofficially won the Aug. 11 scrimmage. “They did well,” Patterson said. “I’m proud to see the girls put forth the effort.”


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