Mission Bay volleyball teams end successful seasons
by DAVE THOMAS
Published - 05/19/17 - 06:31 AM | 2719 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Juliette Castner and Bethany Kepner compete for the Bucs.
Juliette Castner and Bethany Kepner compete for the Bucs.
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With the school year soon coming to a close, a pair of Mission Bay High volleyball teams can look back on their respective seasons with pride.

The boys team completed its most successful season in more than a decade with a first-round playoff loss to Liberty Charter. The Bucs ended up tied for fifth in Division IV.  

To secure a berth in the playoffs, the Bucs pulled off a huge five-game upset of undefeated Coronado. 

"Coronado was undefeated and ranked number two in Division III coming into our match, and it was their senior night,” coach Nikki Caufield said. “The boys played their best match of the season in shutting down Coronado's attack and winning the defensive battle. I could not have been prouder of the way the boys played." 

For the season, senior Jesus Zarate led all Division IV schools in hitting percentage and aces. Senior Jacob Cayetano led Division IV in assists, while senior Alex Torres led the team in total kills and passing attempts. 

In discussing the team’s playoff loss, Caufield noted, "I thought we were the better team than Liberty Charter but nerves and experience played a huge factor in the game. Liberty Charter came in with an experienced group of players that had played in their program for 3-4 years and previously been to the playoffs.

“Conversely, none of our starters had more than two years’ experience and we'd never been to the playoffs. If we were to play them again, I think we could pull out a win. I was really proud of the hard work by the players and to see both of our middle blockers, junior Stephen Tarbell and sophomore Josh Leone, really dominate in the game." 

For Mission Bay, this was just the second year since it restarted the boys volleyball program at the school. This group of boys won the Division II beach championship this past fall, following that up with a playoff berth and a fifth-place finish in Division IV in indoor volleyball. 

“That is an unheard of level of success for just a second-year program and we are really excited about the future of boys volleyball at Mission Bay,” Caufield commented. “We will return four of our starters to next year's team and only one of them will be a senior next year. We also have a solid core of younger players that will hopefully be able to fill the shoes of our graduating seniors.”

Caufield wanted to personally thank her graduating seniors in Cayetano, Zarate, Torres and Victor Collado for helping to put the team back on the map. 

Beach volleyball will start practicing over the summer. For those interested, contact Caufield at niknjeff@aol.com. 

Girls sand volleyball

Mission Bay’s sand volleyball team, under head coach Brad Wills, won the league’s Central Division, finishing with a 6-2 record.

The team advanced into the playoffs as a seven seed in the Open division. The Bucs played a tough La Costa Canyon team and lost in the first round.

According to Wills, seniors Maddie Tandy and Alex Briski finished their high school volleyball careers playing at a high level. Sophomore Bethany Kepner and freshman Juliette Castner kept things very competitive, but came up short against La Costa Canyon. Freshmen Kate Geenen and Chloe Gallego played well and rounded out the squad.

“A great season for the Lady Bucs,” Wills noted. “Two of the varsity teams will return next year, giving the Bucs a strong sand volleyball team for the 2018 season.”

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