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Avalon Volleyball

Girls’ Volleyball Preview: Avalon Lancers

The562’s coverage of Avalon Athletics is sponsored by Curtain Maritime.

The Lancers have been slowly improving for the better part of the last decade under coach Carlos Martinez, but this season will be more challenging with a difficult San Joaquin League schedule and a largely rebuilt lineup.

“The culture in the volleyball program has always been to get better and go up divisions,” Martinez said. “This year is a rebuilding year for us, but if we can make it out of our league and make the playoffs we can make a run because I believe we’re one of the top teams in our division.”

Avalon was in Division 10 six years ago when Martinez took over, and this season the Lancers will be in Division 7. This year the San Joaquin League will have a Division 4 team and four other teams in higher divisions.

Avalon moved up after making the Division 9 finals in 2019, and the semifinals in 2021. The Lancers reached the quarterfinals of Division 7 last season where they lost to the eventual champion Nordoff.

The key returners for Avalon will be outside hitter Emily Mello, libero Elizabeth Hiniker and middle blocker Alexa Morones, but Martinez said the most important player on the court will be new sophomore setter Aubree Figueroa.

“She has a high volleyball IQ and she looks before she sets it anywhere,” Martinez said of Figueroa. “She’s all over the court and is very energetic. She carries that swag and personality that wants to show you why she’s good.”

Opposite hitter Ximena Moreno and outside hitter Isabella Perez round out the starting lineup.

“It will be a defensive mentality,” Martinez said of his team’s style. “We can dig anybody and play out of system balls. We let the other team make mistakes.”

Avalon (3-3, 0-2) has an important home stand against The Webb Schools on Sept. 16, and a key roadtrip to Tarbut V’ Torah Sept. 28.

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JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.