Girls Sports preview: Lady Vikings look to make their mark for La Jolla High School
Football may take center stage during the fall sports season (see story here), but on the sidelines, in the gym or with club in hand, the girls of fall sports are looking to test their limits this summer. There are six girl’s sports to the three boy’s sports that take place in the fall.
(Coaches from the cross country and field hockey teams did not return our request for comment by deadline.)
After being recognized as one of the top 10 teams in San Diego County last season, the La Jolla High School girls golf team is in a unique position in that none of their team members from last year graduated and will all be returning this year.
“Now we have experienced players that played so well together last year, they are very cohesive. They know each other’s games. They can help each other out with their partners and can recommend which clubs to use,” said coach Aaron Quesnell. They also have the fresh reminder of almost making it to the CIF championships last year.
“We missed (getting into) CIF by one shot, it was heartbreaking,” Quesnell said. “We’re looking to make it this year and I think we’ll improve our league standing.”
He added that he suspects player Brea Tyrus will make it past the CIF regional level to higher tournaments. Other “difference makers” he said, include Amalia Parzen, Olivia Kraszewsky and Chloe Kim.
The girls’ golf season started Aug. 21 in Balboa Park, and continues with three matches a week through October.
Conversely, after a less than stellar season last year (which ended 4-21 overall and 0-8 in the league), the girls volleyball season opened Aug. 17 against La Jolla Country Day School with a 3-1 victory. The trend continued, as the Vikings defeated Point Loma 3-1 and Poway 3-1.
Coach Kelly Dobreck told La Jolla Light this year’s team is “full of energy and integrity” with “great passers and servers.” Noting they are particularly strong on offense, she added there are seven new players to this year’s team, but they are by no means new to volleyball. “They are very skilled,” she said. “We are going to make this team as strong as possible in our three months together.”
Reflecting on last season, she said this year’s team will work on perseverance. “Even if we are down, we will keep fighting and try and win,” Drobeck said.
While the debate continues on whether cheer counts as a “sport,” the cheerleaders are gradually improving their athletic prowess and are entering the competitive realm. Coach Cindee Russell explained: “As of now, sideline cheer is a club but competition cheer is a CIF sport. This year we are trying to transition the two. So there are some girls from our sideline cheer team that compete.”
More than half of this year’s team are freshmen, and Russell calls this year’s team “the most dynamic so far.”
She added: “It’s awesome because everyone is interested in learning, they have the drive. My veterans really motivate them. And they are really strong in our stunting skills; we do a lot of different pyramids and transitions. Now they are throwing basket stunts and tricks into the routine, this is the first year to get those going.”
The Vikings cheerleaders support the football team, both at home and away games.
After leading the La Jolla High boy’s tennis team to win the CIF tournament last year, coach Darice Carnaje is now taking on the girls tennis team, but isn’t necessarily expecting a similar outcome.
Calling it a “rebuilding year,” she said, “I graduated a ton of seniors last year, so right now, we want to work to be as competitive as we can. We will be, because there’s a nice group coming back — but they are less experienced. We’ll have to practice more and see how they all work together.”
She added there are only three seniors on the team, but collectively the team is enthusiastic and ready to play. “They like to play tennis, which is half the battle. They also get along really well, like last year’s group. This year is going to be fun.”
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