Hobbs' Christina Torres (9) tips the ball as Elena
Calderon, left, and Becca Jones (4) look on during
the Lady Eagles' loss to Portales on Tuesday.
Trust me when I write this, Hobbs volleyball has a reason for optimism.
For those who don't know, the Lady Eagles went 1-19 last season.
Hobbs nearly equaled their win total from a season ago Tuesday night at Tasker Arena in its season opener – losing to three-time defending Class 3A state runner-up Portales in five sets 3-2 (25-14, 16-25, 25-23, 14-25, 15-13).
While the loss stings (as it should, Hobbs had its chances to win this), the effort put forth by a group of Lady Eagles that experienced a dismal 2011 season showed this group doesn't plan on being the doormat of Class 5A any longer. Seniors Christina Torres, Elena Calderon, Alex Jimenez and Becca Jones played like seniors should – whether it was leading by example or vocally.
Torres (who I think is around 5-foot-10, no height on roster) showed spurts of dominance both at the net and even digging balls in the back row as she finished with 10 kills, six blocks, six digs and five aces. Calderon hustled all over the court and played her hybrid role of setter/outside hitter well. It seemed like at some points that anything Jimenez touched turned into a point for the Lady Eagles as she racked up a team-high 13 kills. Jones, Hobbs' other setter, played with energy is by far the vocal leader of this team while also leading the team in assists (23) and second in digs (13).
It's been a rough few years for the volleyball program at Hobbs, but Tuesday showed the program seems to be heading in the right direction.