By Arnie Leshin
For experience and strength and size at the net, the Capital High volleyball team will have just that with the return of seniors Rebecca Sorensen and Ethena Silva.
Both stand at 6-feet, and have been the one-two punch for Max Vargas’ team in recent years. This time, they will serve as tri-captains with senior Alexandria Hernandez. Sorensen is a middle blocker and outside hitter, Silva a middle and outside hitter, and Hernandez, at 5-6, a libero and defensive setter.
The Jaguars also get back 5-3 sophomore defender Chanelle Jaeger, who also plays on the girl’s varsity basketball team at Academy of Technology and The Classics, and is allowed to play volleyball at Capital because ATC doesn’t have a volleyball program.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Vargas still has the shorten season set for nine matches, with the opener at home on March 9th against Santa Fe High, and Cleveland and Rio Rancho high schools. For this season, those are the four 6-5A district teams.
Under Vargas, the Jags have played in one district playoff match on the road at Albuquerque High after finishing in a regular-season tie with the Bulldogs. This is his ninth season as head coach after serving initially as an assistant coach at Capital.
In the opener, Vargas says, “We’ve got the C Team playing first at 3, the junior varsity to follow, and the varsity around 7 o’clock,” “No fans will be allowed in the stands and I’m not sure about media.”
Vargas’ first-year varsity assistant is Melissa Mendosa, his junior varsity coach is Esteban Orales, and his C Team coach is Lawrence Lovato.
On March 16th, the Jaguars will take the short ride to city and district rival Santa Fe High, which has five returning seniors, two juniors and four sophomores, so they do have experience. And the Demonettes do have size with 6-1 sophomore middle hitter, middle blocker Eliza Fowler, 5-9 sophomore outside hitter Rebekah Duda, 5-9 senior outside hitter, Laila Bernardino, and 5-8 sophomore outsider hitter Mariah Martinez, so the sophomores will provide most of the height.