New year, new season, same goal

Written by Elder Hinojosa, Staff Writer

It was a scrimmage setting so she ended up playing everybody pretty much equal time which “allowed the players to showcase their skills and compete at the level that players are competing at here.

Rio Hondo Women’s volleyball team has high hopes for the upcoming season and Coach Teddi Esko also has ideas of what’s expected from her returning players and how quickly the new freshmen women can adapt to college level speed and as a team as a whole. She also has goals she has planned for the team and for the individual players.

With preseason wrapped up and in the books, these are some key players to look at; freshman setter Haley Brownwood, freshmen libero Carleigh Cruz, and freshmen libero/setter Tanya Metchkoff.

Returning key players to look forward to as well are opposite/setter Romy Ramos, setter Gabrielle Cruz, and middle back Brenda Alvarado. Note that these returning players are also captains of the team.

In response to playing top teams in the process with a scrimmage tournament, Esko said “It was a scrimmage setting so I ended up playing everybody pretty much equal time and it allowed the players to showcase their skills and compete at the level we’re competing at here. We have been training for five weeks since summer and have only been competing with ourselves so that gave us an opportunity to play five different colleges. It also gave us an opportunity to look at a different offense and defense and how we responded, reacted, and how we performed against that.”

As the new freshman are getting college action and showcasing their skills, these girls shined on the court and left an impression.

“We had a great performance from high school graduate middle blocker Kassandra Cuellar, really good performance out of my two liberos Carleigh Cruz and Tanya Metchkoff, and great performance out of setter Haley Brownwood, all of which are freshmen. My two outside hitters Edith Meija and Jacqueline Chaidez (both high school graduates) also performed well. It was good to see them transform from the high school mindset to the college mindset in one day and perform at our level,” said Esko.

It all comes down to how well the team works together and can form a bond between one another, and the improvement of team morale.

It seems as if the glue of this team is Romy Ramos who is the most impactful player, and being a great leader to the new girls as Ramos knows what to do to achieve the team goal.

The team goal is to stay consistent to win the Foothill Conference which won’t come easy as the top competitors in the league and rivals are Chaffey College and Victor Valley, although Esko doesn’t take any school lightly and views each school the same.

Rio Hondo looks to start the season in winning form as they take on Santa Ana College on Sept. 11.