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Barons, Titans serve up youth in 2014; still seek league title Phillip Brents | Fri, Aug 29 2014 12:31 PM

The Bonita Vista Barons have been the dominant girls volleyball program in the Metro Conference, joined by the Metro-Mesa League rival Eastlake Titans.

The Barons and Titans finished first and second, respectively, in last year’s league standings before each going on to represent the league in the San Diego Section playoffs.

Bonita Vista competed in the quarterfinals of last year’s inaugural Open Division playoffs while Eastlake dropped its opening-round match in the Division I bracket to top-seeded Scripps Ranch.

Though both league powerhouses are fielding younger teams this season, both expect to once again challenge for league supremacy.

“This upcoming season we’ll have a young team with a lot to prove,” BVHS coach Michael Ortiz explained. “We will look to compete for a league title and in a new division for the CIF playoffs — now in Division I.”

Top returners for the Barons include senior Makena Wilson, juniors Teleyah Stricklin, Kelly Johnson and Cameron Peters, and sophomore Erin Roberts.

Ortiz said all five players will have an impact on this year’s team, as will all of the program’s newcomers.

Wilson ranked second on the team last season with 210 kills and third with 226 digs.

Can this year’s BVHS team match last year’s lofty 23-8 overall record? It should be both interesting — and exciting — to find out.

Next in line
Eastlake finished 5-3 in league play last season ahead of Otay Ranch (4-4), Olympian (3-5) and Mater Dei Catholic (0-8) in the Metro-Mesa standings.

Top returners for the Titans include seniors Taelor McMurray and Victoria Reimers and sophomore Kristen Abels.
Abels earned first team all-league honors last season as a freshman.

EHS coach Erwin Macalaguim lists the team’s impact newcomer as 6-foot-1 sophomore Audrey-Rose Hutchinson.
Macalaguim said his team will be “very young” this year. 

“Seven sophomores are on the team with at least four of them who will contribute in every match,” he noted. “Last season we finished second (in league) and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Not sure what the outlook of this season will be.” 

However, Macalaguim remains optimistic.

“If the sophomores can adjust to the speed of the game then we could do really well,” he said. “Other than that, we will see …”

CIF playoffs

The section playoffs, scheduled Nov. 8-22, will be conducted in six divisions this season. Finals are slated at Canyon Crest Academy and Cathedral Catholic High School.

Metro-South Bay League champion Montgomery recorded a runner-up finish in the Division IV finals last year, finishing the 2013 campaign with a 21-7 overall record.

Hilltop won last year’s inaugural Metro-Pacific League championship. The Lancers finished the 2013 season 22-13 overall.

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