GIRLS VOLLEYBALL | Class 2A regional preview

Bishop Noll's Asya Hobbs among the nation's top blockers

2013-10-28T20:30:00Z 2013-12-12T22:10:30Z Bishop Noll's Asya Hobbs among the nation's top blockersHillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Asya Hobbs has tried to explain her blocking technique to anyone who asks.

"I follow the pass and look at the setter and try to anticipate who is she going to set, then I just take my steps and close the block," Hobbs said. "I've tried to talk to my teammates about it because they've asked me how to improve their blocking. Then they just look at me like, what? That's how I do it, so I try to help when I can."

Her Bishop Noll teammates hope to duplicate anything close to the blocking numbers that the senior middle hitter has racked up this season.

Over the course of the last year, thanks to changes in her routine and  three-sport schedule, she has added almost five inches to her vertical jump to reach 9-foot-8.

She has also added heft in every statistical category.

She has 263 total blocks, with 189 of those solo. That ranks her the best in the state among teams that have reported stats to the IHSAA-recommended MaxPreps data collection site. It also ranks her among the nation's top 10.

She's added 48 aces and 226 digs.

"She has unbelievable athleticism and leaping ability, and she is so quick off the floor," coach Dave Rodriguez said. "When some of the big middles look at her they think they can take advantage because she's shorter than them, but she explodes off the floor and surprises them."

From the middle hitter position, she has also picked up 365 kills, even as the Warriors (27-9) have outside hitters Carley Cappello and Carissa Jones to set to.

"She had a season-high 19 kills against Whiting in the sectional," Rodriguez said. "She doesn't normally average six kills a set, but we run her all over the floor. ... Sometimes she's so fast to the ball that the blocks don't react."

Hobbs and the Warriors won their first sectional title since 2007 on Saturday, leading to today's regional match against North Judson (11-25).

As Noll was extending its postseason, the girls basketball team opened tryouts Monday. Hobbs, who also plays basketball, hopes to have another two weeks of volleyball left to play to keep her hoops team at bay.

"When we're in season, we're in season and other coaches don't try to get you out of season, they understand," Hobbs said. "I'll just try out (for basketball) later and hopefully it'll be after state."

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