Ready For A New Season

Jesus Manriquez, Sports Editor

With a group of outstanding players, led by the best coaching staff, and a winning mentality, the Rio Hondo Volleyball team looks to make this upcoming season their best one yet. The Roadrunners talk about their expectations, their team and the recognition some of them are beginning to gain.

Strong Pre-Season

With a new season comes new challenges and new expectations. So far, the lady Roadrunners have lived up to that expectation during pre-season. The team has played seven games from which they have won six. Their only loss came against Orange Coast College. Although it was a painful loss, this small setback only made the Roadrunners stronger. ” Based on that match, and what we learned, rolled us into the second week,” said head coach Teddi Esko, ” That match kind of changed our mindset and a little bit of our training plan to get this team better and faster.” Since that loss, Rio Hondo has been on a four-game winning streak.

This year’s team is composed of many returning players with the addition of a few new faces. For coach Esko, having a strong, experienced base is certainly an advantage. ” We have 11 players out of the 14 who competed last year or have been with me in the beach volleyball program. So they know my expectations, and now I have them at a higher standard “, said Esko.

Earned Recognition

Some of the athletes are starting to get the recognition that they deserve. A few weeks ago, sophomore setter Aliah Trujillo was named the Southern California State Player of the Week by the California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association, thanks to her superb performances against Orange Empire Conference teams in Fullerton, Saddleback, and Santa Ana where she totaled 79 assists, 23 digs, eight aces, and eight kills. Trujillo talked about what it meant to win this award.

“This award has meant so much to me. It has helped me realize that all the sweat and hard work that is being put into every practice is worth it. I do not see this just as an award for myself, but my team as well. I am a representation of Rio Hondo and I would like it to be known to everyone how great of a program it is here”, said Trujillo.

For captains, Danielle Bentancourt (Sophomore) and Stephanie Perez (Sophomore), this team is looking stronger than ever before. When asked about their expectations for the team this year, both captains mentioned their desire to redeem themselves from last year. ” This year we have all the pieces and I believe this will be one of our greatest seasons yet”, said Bentancourt.

Rio Hondo will look to continue their winning streak on Wednesday when they visit San Diego Mesa College. They will close their pre-season when they receive Mt. San Jacinto College two days later. The Roadrunners will officially begin their season on Wed. 25th of this month at Pasadena City College.

Full schedule available here: http://athletics.riohondo.edu/sports/wvball/2019-20/schedule

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