Sometimes teams just have a feeling they are the best. The Cienega boys volleyball team is one squad that is radiating that vibe right now.

The Bobcats, ranked fourth in Division I, entered this weekend’s Warrior Invitational at Pueblo as the top seed. They didn’t disappoint, going 5-0 to win the 12-team tournament.

“We played very team-oriented volleyball,” coach Heather Mott said. “We weren’t selfish at all. We came into this knowing that we were playing strong. We just came in, stayed focused, and stuck to our business.”

Cienega (27-5) now has plenty of confidence before the state tournament begins May 10. It plays at No. 20 Catalina on Tuesday, and then has just three remaining regular-season matches.

The Star caught up with Mott and senior outside hitter Alex Martinez to find out why the Bobcats might be able to make a deep run at state.

Focus and chemistry

Mott: “We are mentally much more focused right now. My boys were just very focused over the weekend. We played very disciplined ball.”

Martinez: “We have a chemistry that no one in Tucson can beat.”


Mott: “We have a lot of weapons. We’re getting better still, and we haven’t reached our peak. We’re well-distributed as far as our kills and we’re very balanced.”

Martinez: “A lot of people underestimated us as a team to begin with. I think we have a great squad. We have a lot of weapons in the front row, and teams have a lot of trouble with that.”

Hard work

Mott: “We tend to get a little lucky when we work hard, and we work hard every day.”

Martinez: “We get better every time we touch the court.”