The Buccaneers look to defend their CIF Division II title from a season ago. Mission Bay, which was playing only its second year of sand volleyball, topped Bishop’s for the crown.
“We had seven seniors graduate last year including two of our top three teams,” said head coach Nikki Caufield. “Our No. 2 team from last year, sophomores Dusty Schraeder and Ian Briski, return and will be competing to be our No. 1 team along with junior Zander Caufield and senior Stephen Tarbell. They have placed us in a bracket comprised of all higher-division teams and increased the number of scoring teams from three to five this year.”
As Caufield sees it, every match until playoffs is going to likely be very challenging and provide Mission Bay’s young guys with a ton of experience.”
Mission Bay starts its season with a scrimmage against top-ranked La Jolla High on Sept. 7 at the Pit, and league play starts on Sept. 14.
“We have a super talented group of sophomore and freshmen players this year that are going to experience a huge learning and growth curve,” Caufield added. “Once they grow and figure out the game a little more, they are going to be really good."
In girls indoor volleyball, Mission Bay, under head coach Steve Upp, is coming off a sound season. The Bucs were 19-6 a season ago, losing in the second round of the CIF Division III playoffs.
“Because of our success the last two years we were moved up to Division II and to a competitive league,” Upp remarked. “We graduated four seniors last year and only have some seniors on the roster this year. We have a very young team this year, including two freshmen and four sophomores.”
While Upp said the team is rather young, it is an athletic group that he believes will compete and be fun to watch.
Returning this year is junior Bethany Kepner, a first-team/all-league player from last year.