Hard work pays off for Hondo

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo's Kyra Lucero gets low to retrieve a serve from Lake Arthur, Nov. 2, during the District 3-1A championship match.

HONDO – It may seem like Hondo’s volleyball team has cruised to an unbeaten District 3-1A season and another district title after sweeping Lake Arthur, Nov. 2, but that would overlook the work the Eagles have done.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo freshman Julianna Gonzales serves, Nov. 2, during her team’s District 3-1A championship match against Lake Arthur.

That’s according to coach Denise Montoya.

“We practiced hard and played with intensity,” Montoya said. “They had a lot of determination to get to this point and take the district championship. I’m proud of these girls.”

After earning a 25-10, 25-15, 2511 win over the Panthers, Hondo (12-5) Now must wait until the state’s seeding committee meets on Sunday to determine who’s in the Class 1A State tournament and where those teams are seeded.

It’s practically a given the Eagles are in, the question is where.

“I would like to be able to get all the way to the championship, but we need to be real,” Montoya said. “I would like to get past our first game and on to the second, but we won’t know until we finish pool play.”

As he was handing out district awards after the match, Hondo athletic director Brandon Devine presented an award he said made him most proud.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Hondo senior Meilssa Guilen, center, sends the ball over the net as teammates Nina Herrera (obscured) and Carolina Salcido look on, Nov. 2, during the District 3-1A championship match against Lake Arthur.

It was the Sportsmanship Award, usually given out to the team that finishes last in the standing.

But this time it was given to the team that finished first, and Montoya said it was a testament to how she tried to lead her team.

“Being given the Sportsmanship award will make a big difference for these girls,” Montoya said. “I encourage these girls to always be humble about their winning.”

Melissa Guillen is one of six seniors on the team, although this is the first year she’s played volleyball since seventh grade.

“It’s been pretty great, and I’m honored to be a part of this team,” Guillen said. “I just enjoyed playing this year. I wished I had been playing all those other years. But I’ve enjoyed every minute with them. They’re the best.”

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