Besides winning state championships, Analisa Lovato accomplished all other feats in her Pojoaque Valley High School athletic career thanks in part to the high bar set by her older sisters.
Lovato was the final of four sisters to play volleyball and softball for the Elkettes, following older sisters Monica, Miquella and Amber Lovato.
All of them won state championships in volleyball and Miquella and Amber were part of the Elkettes’ five-year state title run from 2009-2013.
“My childhood was very busy running back and forth with my parents to watch my sisters play,” Analisa Lovato said.
She admitted that she felt pressure being the fourth sister to represent the family, but knew her high school career would need to be defined by her own actions.
Analisa Lovato said she had already built a relationship with Pojoaque softball coach Ricky DeHerrera after knowing him for so long when she watched her sisters play for him, but DeHerrera didn’t make her a two-time captain because of familiarity.
“Analisa Lovato has been a starter on my varsity (team) since she was an eighth-grader,” he said after the conclusion of the 2018 softball season. “Not too many athletes have had that distinction in my program. She followed in her older sisters’ footsteps.”
The Elkettes finished 11-15 and fell short of a postseason bid, but Analisa Lovato led the team with 31 hits and a .525 batting average.
On the volleyball court, she said the coach who had the most significant impact on her was none other than her sister, Miquella Lovato, who coached the team in 2014 and 2015.
“I grew up being so amazed by her,” Analisa Lovato said. “When she became my coach, I have to admit we did butt heads, but she believed in me and knew I could be great.”
Analisa Lovato ended her career this June in Albuquerque, after being selected to both the volleyball and softball all-star teams.
Looking back, she said volleyball was the sport she gravitated toward the most.
“It’s always had a special place in my heart,” Analisa Lovato said. “It was the first sport I learned how to play, using a balloon.”
She will attend Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo. next fall, where she will study sports psychology.
Analisa Lovato said her favorite subject in school is English because she “loves to tell a story.”
What she will remember most about her Pojoaque story is the memories with teammates and the relationships she was able to build over the five years of participating in sports.
“They are the girls I will remember when I look back at high school,” she said. “Athletics have taught me to always be open to meeting new people and experiences.”
According to Analisa Lovato, she’s unsure about what career path she would like to pursue at this point, but one thing’s for sure; she will be watching plenty of the television series Friends as she transitions to Adams State.
She said she watches the show non-stop and people would be surprised by that.
“Now that I’m done with sports, I realize how much of an impact it’s had on my life,” she said. “I’ve been surrounded by sports since I can remember and it’s going to be hard to get used to not playing anymore.”