Posted Date: 10/19/2023
Alexander’s Emily Buitron and Andrea Nunez have grown up together on and off the volleyball court. They have played together since they were in second grade when they started their volleyball careers at Col. Santos Benavidez Elementary before taking their talents to United Middle School and now Alexander.
“They are a fun and dynamic duo,” Alexander head coach Ari Bermea-Mendoza said. “They really have known each other for a while and have been playing together for a long time. They are like sisters on and off the court. It is fun to see them interact and figure things out on the court. At this point, they are little older and are court savvy and got a better feel of connecting on the court.”
The lifelong friends and teammates are so in sync with each other that if they give each other a look or a small gesture, they know what each other is thinking or what play to run on the court.
“We are always on the same page,” Nunez said. “I just know what she is going to do on the court and vice versa.”
Buitron is a multisport athlete just like Nunez and has been a setter for the varsity team ever since she was a freshman. Last year, Buitron was predominantly utilized as an outside hitter but was able to work her way back into setting spot this season.
One of her favorite targets is Nunez, who has also been on the varsity team ever since she was a freshman. They both had to endure a COVID season as eighth graders and did not get to play. The duo jumped from seventh grade volleyball at United Middle to varsity ball as freshman.
“It was hard to be away from each other and we did keep in contact,” Buitron said. “We only had private and club training for our eighth-grade year and that is what kept us going.”
The dynamic duo had a goal of earning a varsity spot in one of the premier programs in Laredo. They were two of four freshmen to do so that season and have played a huge role in Alexander’s success.
“It was special that we both made it,” Buitron said. “This is something that we have been working towards ever since we started playing together. It made the transition from middle school sports to high sports a lot easier by having a familiar face on the team.”
This season Buitron and Nunez have the Lady Bulldogs with a perfect District 30-6A record at 8-0 heading into the final two games of the season as they swept United South on Tuesday.
While Buitron and Nunez are great friends on and off the court, it would be natural that their parents have the same bond. Elizabeth Buitron and Lizzette Gutierrez have been sitting in bleachers together ever since their daughters played at the Laredo Boys and Girls Club. Both relish having their daughters play together for Alexander.
“From such a young age you could see that these girls were natural born athletes,” Elizabeth said. “These girls have been playing sports together since second grade. From a young age, you could see the love they have for sports. It has been amazing to see how their technique has grown throughout the years. Not only their technique, but their game IQ. These two girls really complement each other.
“They are the perfect pair, setter and hitter, quiet and loud but both extremely talented. Lizette and I joked about them being committed to playing at the same college together. It would be amazing to see these two girls play together in college. They know each other well, both on and off the court.”
Lizzette also enjoys the players their daughters have become. Every passing game she relishes seeing the duo take it to another level.
“My favorite e duo. These girls go back playing together to second grade,” Gutierrez said. “Playing volleyball and basketball together ever since. Like peanut butter & jelly. We have watched them both grow and evolve as great athletes and help mentor the younger ones on the Bulldog teams. They are inseparable, and I feel so blessed they have each other and work so good together. Best setter, hitter duo since they started. Setting the level high as they both have the potential and athleticism to play on the next level. Perhaps, they go on as a duo.”