Prep Girls Volleyball: Big week ahead for Poway High; league play starts for local teams next week
By Michael Bower
All the talk in San Diego regarding girls volleyball has been about Torrey Pines High and its No. 1 national ranking in several different polls.
The Falcons, which will play the nation’s second- and third-ranked teams today in Nebraska, boast a whopping eight future Division I players, including 6-foot, 6-inch senior middle blocker Jennie Frager.
The off-the-chart talent on the Torrey Pines roster will be on display Wednesday (Oct. 3) at 4:45 p.m., when the Titans host the Falcons in the Palomar League opener for both schools.
Poway coach Breezy Ambort is excited about the opportunity to face Torrey Pines and for high school volleyball in the San Diego area as a whole.
“I think it is great for the area,” Ambort said of Torrey Pines’ top ranking. “Any time San Diego County teams can be in those national rankings, and high up in those rankings, that is always good for our region; and it being a public school and not a private school always looks good.”
The Falcons are just part of a few challenging matches coming up for the Titans (8-2). Before Poway even mixes it up with Torrey Pines, it will be playing in the always-tough Capistrano Valley tournament Friday and Saturday in Orange County.
“This is going to be a big week for us,” Ambort said. “There should be a lot of tough challenges in the tournament and then we come back and start league play.”
The only two losses of the season by the team has come to Bishop’s, ranked No. 29 in the state, and defending state champion Cathedral Catholic. The Titans also claimed a win over the Dons in the finals of the Fall Classic.
“We are still a work in progress, but on paper we are doing great,” Ambort said. “We just have to keep growing as a team and unit type thing. We have to keep working hard in practices so by no means have we reached our peak this season that is for sure.”
Twin sisters Blair and Paige Ehrlich, both seniors, have been phenomenal this season. Blair, a middle blocker and outside hitter, has registered a team-high 78 kills through Monday. Paige, also an outside hitter, is second on the squad with 40 kills.
Ambort says the Titans are a very strong serving and passing team. But where many of the matches will be decided for Poway is how well it is serve receiving.
“Serving and passing is our bread and butter,” she said. “So when we serve receive well then we play well. If we struggle on serve receive, we are going to struggle in the match. I think they are fully capable of being a top serve receive team in this county.”
LEAGUE PLAY STARTS NEXT WEEK FOR RB HIGH, DEL NORTE: The Rancho Bernardo girls volleyball team will also be traveling to Orange County for the Capistrano tournament this weekend.
When the Broncos return, they will focus their attention on the start of Palomar League play. Rancho Bernardo opens by hosting Mt. Carmel on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Del Norte, favored to win its first Valley League title, will open with Orange Glen on Tuesday at Del Norte at 5:30 p.m. The Nighthawks are off to a 13-3 start through Tuesday.
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