September 16, 2020 – By NJP
With the loss of the 2019-2020 season, many teams will be in the same position as Eastside Paterson with a team filled with players with little or no varsity experience. The Ghosts had their best year in the history of the program in 2018-2019 as Coach Robert Black’s team had a perfect storm of talent including outside George Gonzalez who posted well over 400 kills. The player setting him was then sophomore Alberto Torres, who finished in 7th in assists in the state, accumulating 610 helpers.
With the loss of the 2019-2020 season, many teams will be in the same position as Eastside Paterson with a team filled with players with little or no varsity experience. The Ghosts had their best year in the history of the program in 2018-2019 as Coach Robert Black’s team had a perfect storm of talent including outside George Gonzalez who posted well over 400 kills. The player setting him was then sophomore Alberto Torres, who finished in 7th in assists in the state, accumulating 610 helpers..
Alberto will be the only player returning next season for Eastside that has played at the varsity level. That doesn’t look like it bothers Alberto at all. Dealing with a COVID cancelled season, he had an amazing perspective. “That was a big downturn for both me and the team, since it was going to be OUR year, but God’s timing is perfect” Alberto reflected. As we all know, some things are just out of our control, a situation almost everyone in the world can relate to right now. And certainly for all of the Spring volleyball players, including seniors, approaching this with right perspective is important. He did express his empathy for graduate outside Carlos Ortiz and Opposite Hitter Edwin Elony who he had “very high expectations” for and did not get the opportunity to show their talent to Ghost fans during their senior year.
Torres embraces his Dominican Republic heritage along with his love of volleyball. “I have been playing volleyball since I was 11 years old. I have always loved sports and my Father gave me the initative to play volleyball at a young age.” He remembers back to when he attended his primary school in the Dominican Republic and they were short of players for the school team. His Dad encouraged him to “be part of a team” and it started a life long love of the game for Alberto.
At 5’9″, Alberto still fits in to a typically big mans sport. “Naturally, I am usually the smallest on the court, not counting the libero” shared Alberto but he also told us his favorite part of being on the court. “My position is setter, but my favorite place on the court is when I am serving. I can’t even express how much I love being on the service line… It’s the only place where a player truly depends on himself”. Torres put up a whopping 55 aces during the high school season. His favorite video is below. “When I’m on the serve, I think I’m that boy”.
Coach Black did not mince any words about Alberto. He told us “Alberto is both a hard worker on the court and in classroom. As our setter, he is the leader of our team and he leads both on and off the court. Alberto has improved each and every year and I expect great things from him in the 2021 season.”
Black continued “Alberto loves the game of volleyball. He is the first person in the gym for practice and the last leave. His game consist of an excellent top spin server that has produced many aces in his freshman and sophomore seasons and his great setting ability by accumulating 928 assists in his first two seasons.” Alberto is hoping to hone his volleyball talent during this off-season at the club level.
“Alberto is always looking for ways to improve his game and is very coachable. He is a pleasure to have on the team.” Eastside Paterson Head Volleyball Coach Robert Black
His goals for the upcoming season are plain and simple. “My main goal is to go as far as the Ghosts have ever gone, and also exceed 1000 assists. My expectations are very high, since I plan to give 100% of myself, and I just need my team to want to do the same. And, of course, I will support and help my teammates, so that each day, they can improve.”
His goals stretch far beyond the season or his senior year at Eastside. He shared “Of course, I would like to play volleyball in college. I’m looking for a University that is strong academically and where I can make a difference both on and off the court”. He would like to pursue a profession where he can make that difference everyday in the lives of others. “I am thinking of studying nursing, but I still have time to make my final decision”.
“I like play video games too”.
Alberto Torres – 10th grade setter 2018-2019 2nd team All Passaic County – 1st team All-League