Even with the uncertainty surrounding the fall sports season heading into the week action is scheduled to begin, volleyball teams across the county are gearing up and getting ready for action, whenever Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signs off on the start of the season.
Last year: 8-12
Coach: Andrea Montano
The Eagles, who were left out of the postseason last year, will look to build off of last seasons result despite losing a key piece in setter Cheyenne Wells to graduation. In her place, McKenzie Wood will look to lead the Eagles as part of a senior heavy squad. Montano is expecting to have eight seniors on this year’s varsity squad, but despite the age of the group they are relatively inexperienced.
“We’ve always had a ton of girls in this class come out,” Montano said. “As sophomores I think we had 17 girls from this class come out, so this will be the first year on varsity for a few of them.”
It’s been a challenging offseason for coaches across the county and the state, and Eagle volleyball is no exception.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the team is practicing in nine-to-one pods, which means that Montano hasn’t been able to have her varsity squad all together yet, but she has divided the athletes in that conversation between two pods to ensure they are at least building chemistry within their pods.
For the Eagles this season the focus is going to be on competing and improving. Montano said she sees this group as being able to compete throughout the district, but particularly with teams like Grants and Valencia.
Last year: 15-12
Coach: Tanya Sanchez
Los Lunas faces a new challenge this year as they move up to 5A with a completely different district in front of them. While the Tigers are no strangers to 5A teams, having squared off with squads such as Cleveland during non-district play in years past, it will be the first time the Tigers have faced such teams up and down the schedule.
A lot of experience was lost from last year’s team as a class of five seniors graduated, but the Tigers are still expected to have nine returners, including four seniors.
The Tigers are once again looking to reload and make another run in the state tournament in December after making it to the quarterfinals as the eighth seed last season.
Last season: 8-14
Coach: Melissa Marberry-Profit
The Jaguars program is under new leadership this year as Melissa Marberry-Profit takes over the program from Eric Zamora, who stepped down following the end of the season last year.
Marberry-Profit comes to VHS from La Cueva, where she was a part of the three state championships in varying capacities.
The Jaguars went 8-14 to finish in fourth in the district last year, and lose five seniors from that squad to graduation. With all of the unusual challenges this year has brought, Marberry-Profit’s motto for her team, and herself, has been adapt and overcome.
At this point, she doesn’t have any expectations of what she is hoping to see out of her team on the court, instead focusing on getting to know her players and getting them ready to go for whenever the season does start.