Prep Sports: Bishop’s School sends several teams to playoffs
It’s been a busy post-season for the Bishop’s School Knights, as a number of spring sports teams made it to higher levels of play during the month of May. Here is a rundown of how their seasons ended (or are progressing).
Narrowly missing a CIF title, the boys volleyball team made it all the way to the Division II championship May 11. Powering through the bracket, the Knights defeated Santana High School 3-0 in the first round, Scripps Ranch High School 3-2 in the quarterfinals, San Marcos High School 3-2 in the semi-finals, before losing 0-3 to Del Norte High School in the finals.
“It was an amazing season,” said interim coach Kevin Pratte, who is filling in for head coach Jackie Gomez, along with assistant coach Chloe Mathis. “Jackie set the table; all I had to do was come in and coach. Our goal was to get these guys to play really well together as one ... that was the key to our success. On a team of 15, not everyone is going to love their role, but when they embraced it, that’s when the season turned.”
Noting the team was 9-11 at one point, he said the team banded together, kept the faith and endured.
“We got hot at the right time; and because they were playing as one, it is so difficult to pick our best players. They all took turns lighting it up,” Pratte said.
The Lady Knights lacrosse team had a bye week while the first round of CIF playoffs was taking place, so they proceeded directly to the quarter-finals on May 13. However, Mission Hills defeated the Bishop’s 14-10. So the season overall ended 12-7, and 9-1 in the league.
Coach Meghan Carr said the team had six seniors that have been with the program for four years: Olivia Ralph, Marley Meyer, Natalie Slosar, Hana Belmonte-Ryu, Rachel Waite and Caroline Alleyne.
“The team has been full of grit, determination and spirit to make this year one to remember,” coach Carr said. “I’m really proud of those girls. Most are dual athletes, so they play another sport, some are the leaders of three sports. You don’t see that as much today. Being able to have those students who can participate and bring a lot to the lacrosse team with that other experience has been really valuable.”
Although the Bishop’s School boys lacrosse team didn’t enter the playoffs with the best record (4-12), they were able to defeat some of the stronger teams along the post-season way.
The Knights lacrosse team was able to defeat the No. 1 seed, Grossmont High School, in the CIF playoff quarter-finals. However, they lost to La Jolla Country Day School in the semis on May 14.
“It was a challenging season overall,” said coach Steve Sepeta. “I think we were better than our record stated; we had some tough games that we lost and a really tough schedule. Several star players were out with injuries, which worked against us. But in the end, it felt like anyone in the top eight could have beat anyone else, which I think we proved by defeating Grossmont.”
He added the championship ended up being a No. 4 seed against a No. 10 seed.
Players of note include: Oscar Hertz, Nathan Hyunh, Anthony Wood, Griffin Dooley, Dash Tsai and Charlie Mossy.
After a preliminary meet May 11 and finals meet May 18, the Bishop’s School track team broke some school records.
“This year’s girls team is the strongest team The Bishop’s School has ever had,” said coach David Silva. “Three of the five possible sprint school records have been broken this year. The 4 x 400 meter school record may be broken.”
While the following runners have accolades too numerous to list, coach Silva wanted to note them specifically: Madeline Cramer, Christie Linnard, Hannah Young, Caroline Twyman, Allura Brown, Maddie Lyons, Allura Brown, Maxwell Brown and Ivan Savchuk.
“In the past, the Bishop’s sprint team was mainly made up of boys. Just three years ago, we had one female sprinter. Now, the girls outnumber the boys. We are a very young team with only four seniors graduating this year,” Silva said. “The success of the program is first due to the great kids that we coach. They are all hard-working kids and are very competitive at practice, which makes each other better. We also have a great coaching staff with a lot of experience and have a lot of success in track and field.”
As a team, the Knight’s tennis season ended 14-2, and lost in the semi-finals against Torrey Pines High School in early May. “It was a great season overall,” coach Matt Copland said.
However, the No. 1 seeded individual player, Matthew Mu, was participating in the singles tournament and competing as this issue went to press (the singles semi-finals and finals were both delayed due to rain, and played at Morley Field in Balboa Park). “We had two other players qualify for the singles tournament, but they ultimately lost, so Matthew is the last one,” Copland said.
Crediting Mu with “progressing and advancing every year,” Copland said, “He is a counter-puncher with a good serve, a great mover and has great mental toughness. He has a good demeanor whether he is up or down. He’s just a great overall tennis player.”
Speaking from the CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Fresno May 10-11, Bishop’s swimming coach Jim Jordon said the team has been led by “great senior leadership” all season long and contains a “good core of freshmen.”
On May 4, the team won the San Diego Section Division II championships with a total of 355 points. Jordon explained there are 12 events in the boys swimming meet: eight individual swimming events, one diving, three relay events. First place in these events is worth 20 points and scoring slides down to one point.
“We’re a small school, about one-fifth the size of some of the schools we compete against,” he said. “So we don’t have the population to draw from but we have great enthusiasm on the team.”
And six of the team’s swimmers qualified for the State Championship — Mason Morris, Greyson Davies, Lucius Brown, Michael Xu, Pierce Dietze and Max Brown – and faced off against the other top 40 in the state the weekend of May 10.
In the State Championships, the Knights set five new school records, and all six made it to the All American team (they are in the top 100 in the country).
The Lady Knights softball team’s playoff run came to an “emotional” close the weekend on May 18, to conclude a “successful” season, said coach Al Gomez.
Seeded No. 7 in Division III, the Bishop’s School defeated El Camino in a play-in game May 14, 6-5; but lost the following two games in a double-elimination format.
“Overall, I think this season was a success,” Gomez said. “Last year, we didn’t make play-offs, so winning a first-round was an improvement from last year. I’m happy with how the team played, they got better every day. The girls supported each other all year long and were fun to coach. Finishing a season and losing the last game is always tough because we had to say goodbye to three well-liked seniors on a loss. It was an emotional wrap-up.”
He credited pitcher Shelby Maier and catcher Jaya Travis as being “a tremendous part of our success” and newcomers Soyoon Park and Jackie Cosio.
“Defensively and offensively, we have some good pieces coming back, but the big question mark for us is the pitching next year,” Gomez said.
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