The Bucs sported a 7-1 record heading into the playoffs. According to head coach Brittany Johnson, senior Brooklyn Grooms and sophomore Maya Jesse really dominated in the last week.
“The season has gone really well; I couldn't be more proud of the girls,” Johnson said. “However, the community needs to recognize and respect the need for this sport to continue its momentum for the youth's sake. It needs to be a CIF sport for the support and funding it deserves.”
Sitting at 4-19, the Bucs have battled this season with no seniors. As head coach Dennis Pugh noted, Mission Bay has seven sophomores starting.
“We’ve been playing better as of late, but have lost seven games by one or two runs,” Pugh stated. “I feel we are heading in the right direction. Those not wanting to fit into the system are gone and we have kids now who want to buy into the program.”
The Bucs were 12-5 (4-1 league) as of last week. “It has been a total team effort,” head coach Vince Ichihara said.
“With K-Bar Bucher continuing her dominance and finally getting one of the county’s best pitchers in Cassidy West healthy enough to go deep into games, we have one of the best pitching duos you will find,” Ichihara said. “Our position players also have come up big with Cat Griffiths, Cheyenne Chavez, Paige Pallamary, Keionna Valverde-Flores, Kira Monji and Kylie Maratea playing well. Alysia Gutierrez, Rose San Filippo, Marcella Herlehy and Hailey Roach have also helped contribute in different ways this season.”
According to Ichihara: “We have had a solid season so far. If we eliminate a couple of errors we are probably sitting with only one loss this season. We are 7-1 in our last eight games and currently riding a five-game winning streak after winning the Gold Classic Championship Tournament last weekend.”
In doing so, Mission Bay beat last year’s Division III CIF Champ and avenged one of its losses earlier in the season to Southwest El Centro, 1-0.
“I’m very proud of the girls and their effort,” Ichihara said. “I have a great coaching staff of seasoned vets that do a great job each week and the girls are learning a lot as the season progresses. We just need to continue to get better and better each time out as we have.”
The Bucs came into the week at 11-4 overall (7-1 league) with several key games left in the regular season. “The outcome of these final games will determine our standing in league, with a chance at becoming league champions, as well as a possible CIF playoff berth,” head coach Brandon Rhodes said.
“The team will look to play well as a team and hope to finish the season off strong. Junior Carson Wells remains to be dominant at the face-off, with strong performances from senior Deshaun Bailey on both sides of the ball, and sophomore Louis Lambrecht holding down the fort as goalie.”
Mission Bay, under head coach Trong Tong, entered the week with a mark of 10-3 overall (8-2 league).
“After starting the season off 5-0 with about half the team being new players, our goal for the season was to get back into the Team CIF bracket,” Tong said. “Not only have we achieved that goal, but we also finished top eight in the division and second in our league. Now we've earned our spot to face off against Monte Vista (April 30) in the team tournament.
“This season has turned out to be a competitive and exciting one as our team has learned to win more of the closely contested matches, and it undoubtedly serves as a great confidence booster for our underclassmen.”
The team’s top two players, Jake Stone and Nicolas Guevara, had teamed up to play doubles in the League Individual Tournament that concluded April 25. They ended up taking home the title and in turn qualified for Individual CIF, which commences the week of May 13.
Mission Bay comes into the week with the boys at 2-8 and the girls at 1-9. According to head coach Lyndsay Sutterley, key swimmers to date have included Kyle Baker, Forrest Wells, Sita Antel and Makenzie Grohn.
“We had a great end to the season as our athletes competed at the San Diego City Meet,” Sutterley remarked. “Almost every athlete got a PR (personal record) in their individual events, and every relay set a PR for the season. It has been wonderful to see the improvements from our athletes.”