Losing three of the program’s all-sports legends is not going to hurt as much as one might imagine. Though the Lady Bobcats say goodbye to Sarina Rios, Andrea Solis, and Alyssa Perez - who among them won more letters than a bowl of alphabet soup - they return a ton of talent in 2010.
So as the volleyball season kicked off last week with its own brand of two-a-days, EHS enjoyed a fruitful beginning.
“We have a lot of girls out here, wow!” exclaimed coach Deanna Sanchez-Dominguez, scanning the endless list of names on a clipboard. “Let me tell you, we have some great freshmen coming in, to go with a bunch of returning veterans. We’re so excited to get started!”
Last year’s group led by those valuable seniors missed the playoffs by a nose in one of the most fiercely fought 31-5A races in years, and if EHS to return to the postseason role it has become accustomed to playing, those left behind will have to carry the load.
First and foremost, that means spotlight time for Beckah Rodriguez, like her departed pals a whiz at multiple sports. The long-legged senior showed flashes of brilliance during the summer, and she will be a team leader this time for sure at one hitter spot.
Up front, the presence of Rios will be missed, but springy Anissa Gonzalez, now a junior, is ready to take over, along with vet Bri Palacios, while middle blocker Roylinda Guerra provides a steady and experienced hand at the net.
Replacing Perez, a fine libero for many years, will be tough, but count on junior Tori DeLeon and Zeleyna Borrego, teammates off the record-setting softball ball team, to attempt to fill the gap. DeLeon saw lots of action in 2009 while Borrego is a sophomore with worlds of potential.
In the back, the Lady Bobcats would appear to have the pieces in place to get the ball up to Rodriguez, with setter Alice Martinez back for another go and super soph Myranda Hinojosa always an active performer on the court.
Sanchez-Dominguez expects to go deep this season with numerous options off the bench. Bri Detwiler, Sharmee Tigner and Stephanie Vazquez will be counted on to produce when they get the chance, with newcomer Deissy Sauceda, a transfer from Econ, also seeking to join the party.
The team received an unexpected bonus to start fall workouts when Bianca Casas, a prime contributor two years ago, returned to the squad after a year’s absence. With so much talent on hand, the athletic basketball star will have to hustle to regain her volleyball momentum, but having her in camp is a definite plus.
The upshot is that Edinburg looks poised to make a run at the playoffs, with a number of quality kids on hand and the usual disciplined desire from its coaching staff.
“We came within a few points of making it last year and I hope the underclassmen learned some lessons from it all,” said the coach. “One thing I am hoping is that the softball girls are able to bring some of their playoff competition experience and drive to succeed with them to volleyball.”
The Lady ‘Cats did not have to wait long to see how their latest edition would fare, as they prepared for scrimmages at the end of this week and the arrival of the first non-district game, Aug. 12 at Hidalgo.