The Hilltop High School girls volleyball team finished 17-12 overall in 2009, posting a 5-5 record in Mesa League play. The Lancers lost to San Pasqual in the first round of the San Diego Section playoffs.
Coach Chris Spalding said the team’s goal is the same as in every year: to go deep in the section playoffs and have one of its seniors advance to play in college.
Workouts have been competitive and that word should spring up often this season when discussing the Lancers. “Above all, whenever we walk into an opponent’s gym or they walk into ours, and irrespective of whether we win or lose, they will know they’ve been in a street fight,” Spalding said.
Top returners include senior middle blocker Miranda Turner, a 2009 All-Mesa League First Team selection, and senior setter Kamene Rose, an all-league honorable mention pick last season.
Turner paced Hilltop in blocks (138) and kills (215) last season while Rose led the Lancers in assists (455).
Spalding lists three impact newcomers: freshman outside hitter Hannah Teague, sophomore outside hitter Miranda Sanderlin and sophomore right side/setter Marissa Davis.
Spalding also noted this season’s schedule will be Hilltop’s most challenging to date.
The Lancers will host the second annual Hilltop Invitational on Oct. 16. Slated to attend the event are St. Ignatius from San Francisco and Bellarmine Jefferson from Los Angeles. The Chula Vista team also will travel to Santa Cruz to participate in the Harbor Varsity Invitational where the Lancers will play several accomplished programs such as Palo Alto, Aptos and Division I state runner-up Salinas and North Salinas.
Hilltop also has non-league games scheduled in Temecula Valley and Watsonville. The Lancers have just two games scheduled at home in September: Sept. 9 against Oceanside and Sept. 21 against Vista.
Hilltop tips off Mesa League play Oct. 5 at Otay Ranch. The Lancers will host their senior night game against visiting Mater Dei on Nov. 4.
Eastlake won last year’s Mesa League championship and Bonita Vista is primed to return to the top this season in what should be a highly competitive race for the 2010 league banner.