Women’s volleyball: Lady Roadrunners improvement during offseason makes for optimism

Written by Ignacio Cervantes, Sports Editor

Today Aug. 29, the women’s volleyball team of Rio Hondo College tips off its 16th season under head coach Teddi Esko. Visiting the Rio Hondo gymnasium will be the Antelope Valley Marauders for a 5 p.m. start to both team’s seasons.

It was a season to forget for the women’s volleyball team. As its .125 winning percentage in 2017 put them at the bottom of the South Coast Conference. Lucky for the Lady Roadrunners, veteran coach Esko will continue her spell as manager.

“Our team has changed a lot since last season,” Esko said, leading up to Wednesday afternoon’s match. “Watching this team grow, we are young, athletic and hungry. We have several multi-positional players, which gives us versatility and much depth in each position. The 2018 squad has set some goals for this season and I don’t doubt they will achieve them.”

The experience which Esko offers at the helm will ease things for the new set of athletes which will come in with a new vision to improve from last year. Madelyn Gastelum, Mia Torres and Felipa Moreno are the three familiar faces from last season as a mostly new-faced squad makes up the 2018 roster.

Freshman captain Stephanie Perez, outside hitter, is a new player to keep an eye on to provide kills and blocks on the outsides of the court.

This restored team comes after Esko helped send six student-athletes to the next level into four-year schools. Libero Sara Harding (Ottawa University) and middle blocker Bree Newton (Friends University) is among the talents moving. Leaving the Lady Roadrunners with voids to fill.

“Our team dynamic is strong.” Esko said, “The team has been training hard since July 9th and have been making great strides in all aspects of the game, chemistry, system.”