BY HENRY MILLER
Edinburg High School’s volleyball roster isn’t very deep – every player on the Lady Bobcats’ team makes a difference, according to Head Coach Deanna Dominguez.
So when middle hitter Natalie Martinez suffered a foot injury, roles were shifted throughout the team to fill the gaps.
“We were trying to fill a hole, which causes other holes. But we are bouncing back from that,” said Dominguez, in her 16th season at Edinburg High. “When you have a player gone you have to change your hitting options, your serve-receive, your defense…the list goes on and on and team chemistry is a product of that.”
Still, the Lady Bobcats have persevered throughout the season and find themselves ranked fifth in the latest 956sports.com Top 10 high school volleyball poll. Edinburg has compiled a 26-6 record overall and is 5-1 in district play, the only loss coming to Edinburg Vela. Those two teams will meet again on Saturday, Oct. 8 at Vela. Prior to that match, the Lady Bobcats play host to PSJA North to complete the first half of district play.
Edinburg is led by senior co-captains Dezi Maramolejo and Elizabeth Olivarez. Maramolejo, who is playing varsity for the fourth year, is the team’s setter but can play hitter or libero if necessary. Olivarez is the team’s libero, directs traffic and “plays all over the place,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez added that the team has played through much adversity this season and with a small roster it magnifies those challenges. But, with an impressive record, it’s clear the Edinburg has faced those challenges head on.
“The girls have been handling it and that’s great,” she said. “That’s what we’re supposed to do. It builds character. They realize how special it is to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves individually. We have a short bench but all of these kids realize that they are doing more than just playing, they are representing our school. I’m proud of them.”
McAllen Memorial and McHi remain 1-2 in the poll while Mission Veterans – playing some of the best volleyball in the Valley – is sandwiched at No. 4, in between Edinburg Vela at No. 3 and Edinburg at No. 5.
The 956sports.com High School Volleyball Top 10
- McAllen Memorial
- Edinburg Vela
- Mission Veterans
- Nikki Rowe
- Los Fresnos
- PSJA Memorial