Advertisement
Share

Bishop’s and La Jolla High ready to resume crosstown water polo rivalry

The La Jolla High School Vikings score a goal against The Bishop’s School Knights in 2019.
(File)

In a year in which high school sports are facing a lot of differences — a shorter season, a season in a different time of year, new safety precautions — one thing remains the same with the current water polo season: the crosstown rivalry between The Bishop’s School and La Jolla High School.

The Bishop’s School Knights and La Jolla High School Vikings will square off May 19 and 28, with one game at each school’s home pool.

The rivalry — rooted in friendly competition and mutual respect — stems, particularly on the girls teams, from players from both schools often playing together on club teams, then against one another in school. And there are the repeated matchups for CIF titles and wanting to be the pride of the 92037.

In 2016 and ’17, the schools fought it out for the San Diego Section CIF title. After neither made it to the 2018 CIF championship match, the 2019 rivalry went to the Knights as they defeated the Vikings in the CIF semifinals and ultimately Carlsbad High School in the finals.

History repeated itself in 2020, when Bishop’s defeated La Jolla in the semifinals and then Carlsbad in the finals. The season ended that year in February, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most Vikings-Knights water polo games end with a one-score difference.

La Jolla High School senior goalie Levi Lentin guards the net during an April 24 scrimmage against Vista High.
(Nicola Bugelli)

“La Jolla has a high-quality program and they execute very well, so we have been diligent in our training and look forward to some great games,” said Bishop’s boys and girls water polo coach Doug Peabody.

He said this year’s group of girls is a “pretty strong team.”

“They bring a lot of team camaraderie and unity,” he said. “I think they bring a giant respect for the game. They train in a way that puts them in a position to be successful. They are diligent in their position work and students of the game and understanding the nuances of the game and the various positions.”

Bishop’s coach Doug Peabody instructs his girls water polo team in 2020.
(Glae Thien)

The Bishop’s boys, who won their first CIF title in nine years in 2019, are looking forward to being back in the water.

The athletes who were a big part of last year’s win are still on the team, and Peabody said “they are very excited to see what they can do. They are working super hard in their position work and conditioning to make sure we are prepared for big games in our league. We’re working on our speed and fundamentals in passing and executing a quicker-paced offense. Defensively, we are doing a good job of situational understanding what the other teams will run against us.”

La Jolla High School girls water polo coach Amy Jennings said her squad is young, motivated to play and ready to take on strong teams like the Knights.

“We were all on a roller coaster last year,” Jennings said. “When the state said we could resume swim meets, a lot of the [water polo] girls signed up for swim. For me, as a coach, that was great because they swam and conditioned and got into shape and ... were ready to go when we were able to resume water polo.”

Her team is made up mostly of freshmen and juniors, but many played on club teams for years leading up to joining the Vikings.

“We have experience and desire to play and motivation to win,” Jennings said. “And Bishop’s is a strong team, but they are in a similar position as us, as they have a strong junior class. ... We’ve always competed with them, so even if we are down, the games tend to be close. Bishop’s is going to continue to be strong. So win or lose, it’s going to be a battle to the end.”

Water polo schedules

La Jolla High School girls

Home games at 750 Nautilus St.

4:45 p.m. May 8: Home against Scripps Ranch High School

5:30 p.m. May 14: Home against Cathedral Catholic High School

6 p.m. May 19: Home against The Bishop’s School

5:30 p.m. May 21: Away against Coronado High School

4:45 p.m. May 22: Home against Grossmont High School

4:50 p.m. May 26: Away against Cathedral Catholic High School

4:45 p.m. May 28: Away against The Bishop’s School

4:45 p.m. May 29: Home against Vista High School

4:45 p.m. June 2: Home against Coronado High School

4:45 p.m. June 5: Home against Carlsbad High School

La Jolla High School boys

6 p.m. May 8: Home against Scripps Ranch High School

4:30 p.m. May 10: Away against Mar Vista High School

5:30 p.m. May 12: Home against Coronado High School

3 p.m. May 14: Home against Cathedral Catholic High School

4:45 p.m. May 19: Home against The Bishop’s School

4:15 p.m. May 21: Away against Coronado High School

6 p.m. May 22: Home against Grossmont High School

4 p.m. May 26: Away against Cathedral Catholic High School

6 p.m. May 28: Away against The Bishop’s School

6 p.m. May 29: Home against Vista High School

5 p.m. June 5: Home against Carlsbad High School

The Bishop’s School girls

Home games at 7607 La Jolla Blvd.

4:30 p.m. May 7: Home against Carlsbad High School

6 p.m. May 11: Home against Vista High School

May 14: Away against Coronado High School (time TBA)

6 p.m. May 19: Away against La Jolla High School

4:30 p.m. May 21: Home against Cathedral Catholic High School

6 p.m. May 26: Home against Coronado High School

4:45 p.m. May 28: Home against La Jolla High School

The Bishop’s School boys

7:15 p.m. May 7: Home against Carlsbad High School

4:30 p.m. May 11: Home against Vista High School

May 14: Away against Coronado High School (time TBA)

4:45 p.m. May 19: Away against La Jolla High School

7:15 p.m. May 21: Home against Cathedral Catholic High School

4:30 p.m. May 26: Home against Coronado High School

6 p.m. May 28: Home against La Jolla High School

La Jolla Country Day School boys

Home games at 9490 Genesee Ave.

8 p.m. May 8: Home against Santa Fe Christian

3 p.m. May 14: Away against Scripps Ranch High School

2 p.m. May 20: Away against Mission Bay High School

2 p.m. June 1: Home against Mission Bay High School

June 4: Away against Santana High School (time TBA)

La Jolla Country Day School does not have a girls water polo team. ◆