After losing seven seniors entering the 2012 season, the Bonita varsity volleyball girls finally had a down season last year. It happens. Even the Lakers and the Yankees have to reload from time to time.
“You always want to stay on top,” said Bonita coach Adriana Contreras, now back for her sixth season. “We had a great run.”
Now the coach and team may be ready for another title run. Credit the optimism to some veteran leadership, skilled players and “height,” something no coach can teach.
Anchoring Bonita’s back row is librero Lauren Reed. “She’s great on defense and serve/receive,” Contreras said.
Riley Inman, a junior, is also in the back row. “She plays all the way around,” Contreras added. “She has been a very consistent outside hitter. I can count on her for anything.”
The same could be said for Bonita’s middle, where Davina Morales and Olivia Rioseco play. “Now a senior, Olivia has gotten better every year,” Contreras said.
As for Bonita’s reputed length, the Bearcats boast two six-foot freshman setters in Mary and Sahara Martinez who will clearly elevate Bonita’s offensive and defensive presence. The team’s No. 1 setter is Natasha Hui.
“We’re coming back with some height, so we’re excited,” added Contreras, an algebra teacher on the Bonita campus.
Will there be enough talent to get Bonita back to the CIF banquet, which had been the team’s domain for so many seasons?
“I believe so,” said Contreras, who didn’t downplay the fact that the team will be playing with at least a small chip on its shoulder. “There’s a lot of work to do, but we’re looking better and better each practice,” Contreras confirmed after a hard day of practice on Friday.
While Contreras will be closely tallying the wins and losses, she also hopes to tally a lot of money raised from the team’s annual “Dig Pink” breast cancer fundraising event on Oct. 10 at home against archrival Los Altos. That’s when the Bonita players, coaches and fans will be wearing pink and raising dollars for the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Not even height can beat cancer, so Contreras and her players consider the match their biggest opponent on the schedule.
It should prove another colorful season for the Bonita girls, whether they’re wearing green or pink.