Mission Bay spring sports updates for baseball, softball, track, volleyball, tennis and swimming
by DAVE THOMAS
Published - 03/21/19 - 08:05 AM | 1204 views | 1 1 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mission Bay girls lacrosse players celebrate after beating Valhalla, 10-5, in their season opener. The Bucs are currently 2-4 and play host to University City at 5:15 p.m. on March 22 in their next game. 
DALE EDWARDS / BEACH & BAY PRESS
Mission Bay girls lacrosse players celebrate after beating Valhalla, 10-5, in their season opener. The Bucs are currently 2-4 and play host to University City at 5:15 p.m. on March 22 in their next game. DALE EDWARDS / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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Softball

Mission Bay, under head coach Vince Ichihara, went 19-6 a season ago.

“This year we only have one senior and are a pretty young team,” Ichihara stated. “We expect big contributions from senior Keke Valverde Flores; juniors Cassidy West, Chey Chavez, Catt Griffiths; sophomore Paige Pallamary; and the talented incoming freshmen K-Bar Bucher, Kira Monji and Kylie Maratea.”

Heading into action this week, the Bucs were 6-1, including a win over Division I fifth-ranked Santana, a game pitched by Bucher.

“I expect us to have a great run this season as we get healthier,” Ichihara continued. “We started off with some injuries but are working through it and learning how to play with each other. Everyone is getting settled in and comfortable.

“When healthy I think we can be one of the best teams in the county and definitely in our division. We just need to get healthy and keep getting better.”

Mission Bay is scheduled to visit Christian High on March 21.

Baseball

On the baseball diamond, the Bucs, under head coach Dennis Pugh, field an extremely young team in 2019.

“We start six sophomores and two juniors,” Pugh commented. Through the first 10 games of the season, the Bucs are sporting a 2-8 mark.

“We play an upgraded schedule the first part of the year to help our power ranking, which determines your CIF playoff ranking in which we are in Division IV,” Pugh added.

According to Pugh, top players early on include sophomore Declan Lynch, junior Dusty Schraeder, sophomore Caleb Dickinson, sophomore Braiz Ramirez and sophomore Kai Taniguchi.

Mission Bay is slated to host rival La Jolla on March 21.

Track and field

Head coach Danny Perez is looking for another pair of winning campaigns this season.

The boys went 7-0 a season ago. Mission Bay had won 23 dual meets in a row to claim its second straight City League crown a year ago. The Bucs saw their win streak end last week in a loss to La Jolla.

The Bucs were moved into the tougher Eastern League this time around with the likes of Saints, Our Lady of Peace, San Diego, Serra, La Jolla, Hoover and Morse. Mission Bay is 1-1 on the young season. The Bucs fell to La Jolla (89.5-46.5) and beat Morse (69-54).

According to Perez, team leaders are senior Nick Archer (high jump, triple jump, long jump) who is the 2018 City Field Athlete of the Year. Archer leads the league in the triple jump at 43.5 feet.

Not far behind is junior Alec Pletogher, who is the leader in the long jump (21 feet), second in the triple jump (42.2 feet) and currently, tied for second in the league in high jump at 6-feet.

On the track side, the distance squad is led by junior TK Berhe, who leads the league in the 1600 (4:35) and is in the top five in the 3200m (10:09).

The girls finished 4-3 a season ago. Gina Queck, who leads the league in the 800, 1600 and 3200m, looks to have a bounce-back season as her season was ended a year ago due to injury. She is a 2017 state-meet qualifier in cross country and looks to win a few league titles at Eastern Finals. 

Senior Brooklyn Grooms is the defending pole vault City League champion and looks to win her third league title in four years. 

Junior Lilian Robinson is the leading 100m runner, long jumper and has taken up the skill of pole vault as well.

“I expect this season to be a bit tougher in year's past but we can still push to win a league title if we win the rest of our meets and get help,” Perez commented. He added that he also wanted to thank the coaching staff and admin for all the support to the team. 

Boys tennis

Mission Bay, under head coach Trong Tong, went 3-9 overall (3-5 in league play) a season ago. Jake Stone did make Individual CIF as a freshman last season.

According to Tong, key players expected this season include junior Darin Robinson, sophomore Jacob Price, Stone, senior Nicolas Guevara, senior Sebastian Medina and sophomore Terrence McClaron.

“Although we have a handful of returning players this season, we've lost a couple of key players who have since relocated, one of whom was a freshman (Arthur Maury) who was one match shy of qualifying for Individual CIF,” Tong remarked.

“Despite the notable losses, our team did enlist a few new underclassmen who will undoubtedly bolster our roster in the next few seasons. While these players are inexperienced, they are showing the focus and dedication that's required to be impactful in our future lineups.

“Due to the annual reshuffling of our leagues, this season's schedule appears to be a tad easier than the last. With nearly half our team being rookies, we've managed to get off to a 5-1 start this season, with our lone loss going to league rival Serra High.”

Boys indoor volleyball

Mission Bay finished 7-7 a season ago, barely missing out on the playoffs. In their first tourney of this season, the Bucs went 2-3 with a 15th place finish out of 48 teams. 

"We returned six players from last year’s team, which includes 6-feet 7-inches tall senior middle Josh Leon, 6-feet 3-inches tall senior outside hitter Zander Caufield and 5-feet 8-inches tall senior setter Tetsuro Escudero,” head coach Nikki Caufield said. “A couple of the young guys from last year's team including 6-feet tall middle Alexis Vergnet and 6-feet tall opposite hitter/setter Filippo Miticocchio have also stepped up into starting positions. 

We got a huge boost with the addition of 6-feet 3-inches tall junior outside hitter Ian Briski, 5-feet 10-inches tall junior outside hitter Jackson Priest, 5-feet 9-inches tall junior libero Ryan Derry and 5-feet 6-inches tall freshman setter Aric Johnson.”

We have a few underclassmen that are new to the team that are expected to contribute." 

In Mission Bay’s first league game, the Bucs swept Morse in three. Leon contributed eight kills and five blocks, while Zander Caufield had nine kills and Ian Briski tallied 15, respectively.

"We were missing three starters against Morse but some of the young guys stepped up into starting positions and played really well and helped us avenge our end-of-the-season loss last year that cost us a spot in the playoffs,” Caufield added.

Swimming

According to head coach Lyndsay Sutterley, Mission Bay will be led on the girls side by freshmen McKenzie Grohn and Sita Antel and junior Jesse Grigolite. The boys look for top contributions from juniors Kyle Baker and Forrest Wells and senior Whitney Snead.

“We are looking forward to improving as a team and bettering our individual times,” Sutterley said. “We have a lot of swimmers who are new to the program so we are excited to develop their skills throughout their time at Mission Bay.”

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