The Second Haro Coaching Era Starts Tuesday at Hope Christian

By Tony A. Archuleta

HERALD Reporter

Robert Haro, returning on relatively short notice to the Hot Springs varsity volleyball head coaching post after two seasons, has been busy getting to know his players.

So Haro hasn’t had much time to size up the first few opponents on the 2012 schedule, which begins at Hope Christian on Tuesday, Aug. 28, in Albuquerque.

Haro, the former six-year HSHS skipper who is succeeding two-year head coach Brandi Cox, enters the season with a new assistant coach in Erica Baker.

Hot Springs is hoping to improve on a 3-17 season in 2011 and pick up a league win – or six – in a District 3-3A that has been cut to three teams – HSHS, Silver and Socorro.

The Tigers went 0-9 in district in Cox’s final year.

The Tigers feature five seniors, including returning varsity leftside hitters Megan Woods and Shelby Bullington, and setter Cheyenne Hearn.

Other key returning players are sophomore leftside hitter Limor Johnson, sophomore setter Maria Chavez and sophomore rightside hitter/setter Savannah Starke.

Varsity newcomers are senior libero Jodi Page, junior middle Mackenzie Greene and senior middle Marissa Aguirre.

Two key losses: senior middle Tessa Jones, who will likely sit out a second consecutive volleyball season due to injury; and sophomore rightside hitter Vanessa Dawson, who won’t become eligible until October.

With nine players on the varsity roster – Haro is allowed to carry 14 – the Tiger varsity (and junior varsity) players participated in a daylong scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 18.

“It went well,” Haro said Monday. “We started off with Mayfield. We’re a little behind the power curve to these schools who are running slides and quicks.”

Haro said the Lady Trojans’ setter, standing 6-foot-1, underscored his own team’s lack of height at any position.

“We were a little intimidated, then we started playing and did well,” Haro said. “They beat us, but I think we played well. I was really happy.”

HSHS also scrimmaged Gadsden and Hatch Valley, the longtime 3-3A rival now playing in Double-A. “For some reason, they keep getting big girls,” Haro said of the Lady Bears. “I don’t know where they get them from.”

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