Avo East League volleyball coaches name three Warriors all-league

Three members of Fallbrook High School’s girls volleyball team were selected by the Avocado East League coaches for all-league recognition.

Senior middle blocker Kendall Haldi was selected to the Avocado East League first team, junior setter Talia DeFalco received second-team distinction, and senior outside hitter Suzi Mellano was an honorable mention choice.

“I’m just excited for all three kids equally,” said Fallbrook coach Peter Peng. “I’m happy for all of them.”

Haldi noted that while all-league selections are individual honors, a team’s success or lack thereof often determines the number of a team’s all-league players as well as the level of some of those league honors. Fallbrook had a 4-6 Avocado East League record, which gave the Warriors fourth place among the league’s six teams, and an overall season record of 10-22 including a loss in the first round of the CIF Division I playoffs.

Haldi spent three years on Fallbrook’s varsity. “She’s tall, quick, and explosive and is able to close the block very well,” Peng said.

San Pasqual setter Lexi Wilhelm was not only a first-team selection but also the league’s Most Valuable Player. The 2010 season was the second on the varsity for DeFalco but her first as a setter. “Talia established herself this year,” Peng said. “Her leadership has a lot to do with it.”

DeFalco was Fallbrook’s libero for 2009.

Haldi and Mellano were the team captains this season. A mid-season ankle sprain limited Mellano’s participation in league matches and thus her exposure to the coaches who voted for the all-league squads. “That dropped her a little bit,” Peng said.

Mellano spent all four of her high school seasons on Fallbrook’s varsity.

“The coaches do a nice job of considering every kid,” Peng said. “I’m very proud of our kids for representing Fallbrook.”

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