As the days of summer wind down, various Mission Bay High School teams are practicing for their fall seasons.
On the girls volleyball court, Mission Bay, under head coach Steve Upp, went 15-11 overall last season.
The Bucs last season moved up a division, with Upp noting this is the toughest league for Mission Bay since he has been there.
A season ago, Mission Bay played a tough first-round CIF match against a strong opponent, but was defeated.
“This year, we are returning 10 players and added three juniors to the squad. We hope to do better in our tough Eastern League,” Upp commented.
Upp noted that La Jolla was added to the league to take the place of University City High.
“Senior Bethany Kepner will be leading the team, but as I said before, there is more experience on the team this year,” Upp added. “We will be very competitive and a fun team to watch.”
Mission Bay has home dates scheduled with O’Farrell Charter School (Sept. 5), Orange Glen (Sept. 12), Coronado (Sept. 17), Clairemont (Sept. 26), La Jolla (Sept. 28), Christian (Oct. 3), Patrick Henry (Oct. 5), and Castle Park (Oct. 12).
Coming off of a season where the team finished 9-7, the Mission Bay field hockey team looks for another winning campaign this fall under head coach Kris Auer.
The Bucs have been practicing as of late as they prepare for the new season.
Auer fields a team this season that lost six seniors to graduation, yet gained 15 freshmen on the roster. “That is the biggest class I’ve ever recruited,” Auer commented.
According to Auer, the team will be led by seniors Emily Crissman, Clara Sandoval, Nina Morch, Vanessa Perez, Dellanira Valdez and Keila Rodriguez.
“With only six seniors and six juniors, we will definitely be young this year,” Auer said. “There are some bright spots within the freshmen class and I am confident that those freshmen are going to be playing varsity minutes this year.
“Hopefully they can learn on the fly and help contribute to a winning season. Regardless of results, I am already proud of the team chemistry we are developing. We have a very supportive culture and a tight knit unit,”Auer said.
Mission Bay has home dates with Bonita Vista (Aug. 31), El Capitan (Sept. 6), El Cajon Valley (Sept. 7), Clairemont (Sept. 20), Southwest (Oct. 5), La Jolla Country Day (Oct. 10), Madison (Oct. 12), Mira Mesa (Oct. 17), and Point Loma (Oct. 24).
Boys beach volleyball
The boys beach volleyball team, under head coach Nikki Caufield, begins its fourth season this year after having won the Division II championship in 2016 and finishing second in Division II last year.
“We have more than 20 boys coming out for the beach volleyball team this year including a large group of incoming freshmen, which is the largest group of boys we've ever had," Caufield commented.
Mission Bay was put into a different league this year with a number of open division powerhouse teams such as La Jolla and Uni High.
Caufield said of the prospects for this year's team, "Returners from our top four teams last year include seniors Zander Caufield and Josh Leone; juniors Ian Briski and Dusty Schroeder and Cody Armstrong; and sophomore Andy Knight.
“Accordingly, we have a really solid core of boys from our top 3-4 teams last year,” Caufield said.
“We are hoping that with the returning experience we will be competitive with the traditional powerhouse teams we will be playing in league," Caufield said.
The Bucs will be playing their first match against Uni High on Sept. 13 at 3 p.m.
– Dave Thomas