With dreams of becoming a sports anchor or making it in the entertainment world as a reporter or movie producer, Tiona Hobson, a senior from Upland, helped take the women’s volleyball team to the NCAA West Regional Semifinals this season. Hobson plans to graduate in May with a degree in broadcasting and an emphasis in television. She finished the season with 116 kills and 24 blocks and was voted co-captain of the team.
Based on the votes of her teammates earlier this season, senior middle blocker Tiona Hobson was given the opportunity to lead the La Verne’s women’s volleyball team as a co-captain.
“She’s the reason why our team smiles all the time,” junior co-captain Brianna Gonzales said. “I’m so happy to have shared being captain with her this year.”
Hobson and Gonzales were chosen as captains to be the spokespersons for the team during games.
“It is an honor and privilege to know that the girls respect you enough to chose you as a captain because in reality everyone puts in their own roles as leaders,” Hobson said.
Hobson, an Upland native entered the University in fall 2004 as a freshman ready to experience college life.
Now four years later, not only will Hobson graduate with her experience as a student-athlete, but with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in broadcasting. She intends to leave ULV with the goal of becoming a movie producer or reporter.
Hobson, a former player for Club West, a volleyball club in La Verne, was no stranger to the area, a major reason in her college decision.
“La Verne is my safe little bubble and next year I have to step outside into the real world,” Hobson said.
During Hobson’s freshman and sophomore years as an athlete she did not see a lot of playing time although she was making progress toward being a better player for her team.
“Her last two years, between her sophomore year until now, she has gotten so much better and progressed,” former Club West player, Chris Duarte-McDermott, a junior at ULV said.
The first couple of years took some adjusting for Hobson, while she tried to find a way not to feel timid due to her age and the fact that she was not a starter.
Hobson exemplified grasping the level of preparation in the off-season it takes to be one of the Southern California Athletic Conferences’s best blockers and middle players.
During her junior year Hobson was among the league leaders in blocks per game and a hitter, earning her a full time starting position.
Taking control of her situation, Hobson worked harder and gained confidence that she once lacked earlier in her career.
“My experience at La Verne has taught me a lot about myself that I really didn’t know before,” Hobson said.
Realizing that it is okay to be yourself on the court was a major part of Hobson’s transformation as a player.
“She has been more confident in college,” Duarte-McDermott said.
Taking time to step outside of her comfort zone, Hobson tried reflecting on who she was in high school and who she was steadily becoming during college.
“I was self conscious to be myself around people, then I realized that it is okay to be yourself on the court and your immediate reaction during play is who you are,” Hobson said.
The confidence that Hobson felt she lacked in high school was surely gained through her experiences at La Verne as her team was constantly competing for conference crowns and NCAA championships.
“People would not believe how I was in high school compared to how I am now. I can be outspoken and a leader, something I never really seen in myself until college,” Hobson said.
Ending her senior season with an undefeated record in the SCIAC gave Hobson her fourth consecutive league title while playing for ULV.
“Volleyball has played a huge role in my life for eight years now, that I can’t really believe I’m saying goodbye,” Hobson said.
Danielle Lampkin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org