Next year the Menlo College men’s volleyball team rather than the Fallbrook High School boys volleyball team will have Justice Patterson.
The 2017 Fallbrook High School graduate received a full scholarship to Menlo College, where he will major in business, with the volleyball program providing approximately 90 percent of that scholarship amount.
“I just want to thank the coach,” Patterson said.
Atlee Frechette is the men’s volleyball coach at Menlo College, which is in the Silicon Valley town of Atherton. “She gave me the highest scholarship, and I’m greatly appreciative for that,” Patterson said.
Menlo College added men’s volleyball for the 2018 season. The Oaks compete in the Golden State Athletic Conference, which is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The first 12 men’s volleyball players for Menlo College were announced May 25, and Patterson was one of those players. “I’m really blessed to be able to go to college and play the sport I love,” he said.
“I’m extremely proud of him that he was able to accomplish that. That’s not something very many men out of Fallbrook High School do,” said Fallbrook coach Chip Patterson. “It was an honor that he was recognized by this college.”
The Valley League boys volleyball coaches placed Justice Patterson on the all-league first team for Patterson’s junior and senior years. Patterson was on Fallbrook’s varsity for all four of his high school years.
Patterson was also considering California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks and Augustana University in Rock Island, Ill., before selecting Menlo College. “They gave me the biggest scholarship,” he said of his choice.
The scholastic appeal of Menlo College was also a factor. “I want to major in business and it’s one of the top business colleges in the country,” Patterson said.
Patterson desires to start his own business after he completes college, and his ultimate goal is to start and operate a volleyball club.
Patterson himself did not play club volleyball until his junior year. He took up the sport as a high school freshman and was an outside hitter during his freshman and sophomore seasons. He joined the Temecula-based Forza club as a junior and learned to play middle blocker, which was his position on the Fallbrook High School squad for his final two high school years.
“Justice is very versatile,” Chip Patterson said.
Frechette may use Justice Patterson as a right side hitter as well as a middle blocker. Patterson believes that his experience as an outside hitter will allow him to make such a transition. “Right side, it’s the other side,” he said.
Patterson noted that the right side hitter participates in more blocking than an outside hitter. “I have good blocking,” he said.
During the 2017 high school season, Patterson led the team with 76 total blocks, 45 solo blocks, and 31 assisted blocks while also leading the Warriors with 136 kills, 135 digs, and a .446 hitting percentage.
Chip Patterson noted that a right side hitter also engages in more setting. “That’s something he’s been working on,” Chip Patterson said.
Justice Patterson is a military dependent who was born on Camp Pendleton before the family moved to Japan. Patterson spent kindergarten in Japan and was in Philadelphia from first through third grades.
The Patterson family returned to Camp Pendleton in 2008 and Patterson completed elementary school at Santa Margarita Elementary School and Bonsall West Elementary School. He then spent two years at Potter Junior High School before becoming a Fallbrook High School student.
Patterson was also part of the Warriors’ football program as a freshman and sophomore. He was a tight end on the 2013 freshman team, and as a sophomore he began as a tight end on the junior varsity before joining the varsity squad for the CIF playoffs.
Patterson was also a member of the Helping Hand Club at Fallbrook High School, and he was involved in the youth ministry and the Access high school ministry at Christ the King Lutheran Church.
Although Patterson closed out his high school volleyball career with a loss, that first-round playoff match was Fallbrook’s first post-season competition since 2008. The Warriors had a 17-11 overall record in 2017, including the playoff loss and a 5-3 Valley League figure which shared second place in the league standings. Fallbrook closed out league play with a 25-17, 25-15, 25-9 home victory May 4 against Mission Vista to give the Warriors a winning league record for the first time since 2008, and Patterson considers the win on Senior Night to be his favorite high school memory.