Mission Bay spring teams make sprint for finish line
by DAVE THOMAS
Published - 05/24/19 - 09:55 AM | 1039 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the school year nears its conclusion, several different Mission Bay High spring sports teams have the finish line within sight or have crossed it.

In boys volleyball action, the Bucs finished off their most successful season in the last 25 years with a narrow loss to Madison in the CIF playoffs. 

The Bucs won their first volleyball league championship in the last 25 years and ended up with a 12-5 record. 

"We had very solid, young squad this year that only had four players return from last year’s varsity team,” head coach Nikki Caufield commented. “Our two seniors, Josh Leon and Zander Caufield, had strong seasons and did a lot to bring the team along. The addition of junior Ian Briski as an outside hitter gave us a very lethal attack and junior Jackson Priest improved a lot as brand-new player. Junior Ryan Derry was a defensive and passing guru this year. We think we have at least four players that should be in the running to make the all-league team [see more below]. If we just had a little bit more experience, I think we could have made a little deeper run into the playoffs. The loss to Madison was particularly tough in that we lost three games by a total of six points, most of which were mistakes on our side of the net." 

Next year, the Bucs will return 13 out of 15 players, including five starters. 

Key underclassmen that are expected to contribute to the varsity team next year include Aric Johnson, Fillipo Mitochochio, Alexi Vegnet, Jake Kepner, Jake Lingle, Kyle Alexander and Brooks Robinson. Other returners that are expected to contribute next year include junior Jake Smyrnos.

Meantime, seniors Zander Caufield, Leon and Briski were selected to the All-League First Team and Derry was selected to All-League Second Team. 

"We were excited to have four boys this year selected on the All-League First and Second Team,” Nikki Caufield noted. “Junior Ian Briski was also in the running for league MVP but the selection went to a player from Kearny based on the fact that their top player was a senior and Ian is only a junior." 

In boys tennis action, the Bucs, under head coach Trong Tong, went 10-3 overall (8-2 league play).

“While we had earned our spot in the Team CIF tournament a couple weeks back, we unfortunately lost to the eventual Division III champions Monte Vista in the opening round,” Tong commented. Jake Stone (No. 1 singles), Nicolas Guevara (No. 2 singles) and Jacob Price (No. 3 singles) accounted for all of the four sets won.

“This season has been a pleasant surprise considering we had our biggest turnout in a few years and consequently made a return trip to the postseason,” Tong added. “Despite graduating three seniors this year, we enlisted a few young players to hopefully fill those gaps in our roster next year.”

In girls softball action, the Bucs, under head coach Vince Ichihara, come into play with a record of 12-6.

Winning the Western League for the third straight season, Mission Bay was slated to open the playoffs on with a home game.

“It’s been a collective effort this year,” Ichihara remarked. “We have completed our first goal of becoming the league champions. Our next goal is to win our first playoff game and continue to get better, as we have all season, as we are now peaking at the right time.”

 

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