Lady Bobcats looking to turn the tide in 2017

RIO HONDO — The Rio Hondo Lady Bobcats are looking to rebound after an unsuccessful 2016 volleyball season.

The Lady Cats began their season Tuesday and have their sights on a scrimmage this Friday in Weslaco.

In her third year at the helm, coach Karen Ramirez is optimistic that the tide will turn in their favor. In her first year, Ramirez guided the Lady Cats to the postseason but fell shy in the bi-district round to SintonHigh School.

“The girls want to go back to the playoffs; we have been there before,” said Ramirez. “We saw our softball team make a deep run and that has the girls here working harder, and wanting to get back.”

Rio Hondo has six returning members from last year’s varsity squad and eight seniors in the program.

Seniors Atheny Orozco, Victoria Vasquez and Bianca Cruz all look to have an impact on this year’s squad. Orozco is a middle blocker and a three-year letterman, Vasquez plays outside hitter and is also a three-year letterman along with Cruz, who makes her return to the lineup as a spiker.

“I’m excited to be back out on the court for my senior season,” Orozco said. “The energy is upbeat; we put last season in the past and are ready to get this season going. We have some girls back from last year’s team so we know what it takes to be successful.”

For the current seniors, it was 2015 when they last tasted the postseason.

“We have this week to prepare before our tournament this weekend in Weslaco and we have girls that have been here before so we know what to expect,” said Vasquez. “Coach expects us to work hard and help guide the younger girls in the program.”

District 32-4A is slated with Raymondville, Zapata, Port Isabel and last year’s district champs La Feria. Ramirez feels this year’s district title race will be a close one.

“When you face us, it’s always going to be a battle. This year the district is any ones to win,” said Ramirez. “It’s going to be competitive for sure and every match should be a battle, and that’s what I want from our girls is to go out and battle every night.”