Wed, Nov 06 2013 10:13 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The Bonita Vista High School girls volleyball team is treading where no other Baron team has gone in the past as members of the San Diego Section’s inaugural Open Division playoff tier.
The top eight programs in the section, regardless of enrollment division, have been gathered into one premier pool to do post-season battle. Placement in the new divisions is based on performance over the past few seasons.
Few would deny that the Barons have performed well. Bonita Vista captured its fourth consecutive league title by sweeping visiting Eastlake 3-0 on Tuesday. The span includes a co-championship with Eastlake in 2010 and outright titles the past three seasons.
Senior Allie Loitz has been a member of all four Baron championship teams, including a run to the Division II title game and the Southern California regional playoffs as a sophomore.
She said she is looking forward to her team’s upcoming appearance in the section’s Open Division playoffs.
“Definitely,” she said. “I’m so proud that we’re in the Open Division because I’ll get to play against many of my teammates from my club team who are on other teams in the Open Division.”
The Barons improved to 22-7 overall, 7-0 in Metro-Mesa League play, following Tuesday’s win over the arch rival Titans (11-16, 5-2). Bonita Vista closes out regular season play Friday at Otay Ranch High School against the Mustangs (18-11, 4-3). Game time is 4:30 p.m.
The Barons are ranked fifth among the section’s Open Division teams in the latest MaxPreps poll, trailing No. 1 Torrey Pines, No. 2 Francis Parker, No. 3 La Costa Canyon and No. 4 Westview.
Bonita Vista lost to LCC in the 2011 Division II final.
The Barons finished 5-1 earlier this season at the San Diego Fall Classic and 6-1 at the ensuing Otay Ranch Invitational. Loitz made the all-tournament team at the Otay Ranch tourney.
More recently, Bonita Vista finished 2-3 at the Asics California Challenge matched against top teams from throughout the state.
In fact, four of the Barons’ seven losses have been to teams from outside the section. The other three have been to section powers Santa Fe Christian (twice) and Parker.
Bonita Vista is excelling this season despite hits in the graduation department.
“We really pulled together,” Loitz said. “We’ve been working hard ever since the start of the season, from the beginning.”
Loitz, who towers over most of her South County competition at six feet, two inches tall, is poised to sign a scholarship offer from Pepperdine University during next Wednesday’s lavish gala at the San Diego Hall of Champions.
Loitz said she is excited about playing at the next level.
“I’m really excited — I am going to play indoor and also try out for beach volleyball, so I could be playing two sports there,” she said.
Loitz entered Tuesday’s game leading the Barons in kills (338), aces (52) and blocks (61).
Megan Riley topped Bonita Vista’s statistical chart in digs (373) while teammate Taimane Napoleon led the Barons in assists (550).
Metro-Pacific League champs
Hilltop remained undefeated in league play after defeating visiting Sweetwater 25-15, 25-22, 25-14 on Wednesday. Janelle Ayala led the Lancers (5-0 in league, 21-12 overall) with 12 kills, six aces and five blocks while teammate Nickie Torres collected three kills and four blocks.
With the victory against the Red Devils (3-2 in league, 14-15 overall), Hilltop officially secured rights to this year’s Metro-Pacific League championship. It is the first girls volleyball title at the school since 1982.
The Lancers close out regular season play Friday at Chula Vista. Hilltop ranks among the top five Division II teams in win-loss percentage this season.
In the Metro-South Bay League, Montgomery carried a 4-0 league record into Wednesday’s game against visiting Mar Vista.
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