Avalon volleyball coach Carlos Martinez Jr. had perhaps the team in Southern California that was most ready to get back on the court this season after the full year off due to COVID-19. His Lancers have been the best team on Catalina Island the last few years, and were the CIF Southern Section championship runner-ups in 2019. That left his team hungry to come back and try to win a title–something they couldn’t do last year because of the pandemic.
“This senior class wants to settle for nothing less than getting it,” he said. “Every day I work on making volleyball feel like one big family–Avalon has a great group of girls who work hard, play well together, but more importantly care about one another on and off the court. I really believe we have the talent to be great this year and I think these girls are ready to prove that.”
The Lancers do have some returning talent from 2019’s team, which earned them a spot on the CIF-SS Preseason Division 8 watch list. They’ll be led by Virginia Soto, an All-CIF and Small School All-State honoree two years ago. Outside hitter Hannah Hoefs earned all-league honors in 2019 as well. The team has a pair of strong newcomers in Lizette Cervantes and Vanessa Rodriguez at outside hitter and libero, respectively.
“Vanessa gets better every day, she gets balls that none of us expect her to and brings a good energy to the court,” said Martinez.