Lady Roadrunners Beat Fullerton in Beach Volleyball

Fullerton — All five duos from Rio Hondo’s Women’s Beach Volleyball team walked off the Fullerton College courts with wins on Wednesday, giving the Lady Roadrunners a 5-0 victory over the Hornets.

In beach Volleyball, each college selects five pairs which play best out of three sets against their opponent. First pair to win two sets earns a point for their school and first school to win three games takes the match.

Setting the tone was Rio’s fives as Madelyn Gastelum and Denyse Perez commandingly defeated their opponents 21-17 and 21-11 in a half-shaded court two.

In sequence and on court one, Michell Chavez-Valdivia and Natalie Magallon, Rio’s threes, played on the only other court and were comfortable winners in two sets as well. The pair won two sets 21-15 and 21-17 despite taking a few extra minutes to get the job done on the hotter, non-shaded court.

The next set of teams on the court was the ones and fours. After winning the first two games, the Lady Roadrunners needed just one more win to take the match.

Andrea Velasco and Madison Mader, Coach Teddi Esko’s first pair, earned the victory for Rio Hondo after cruely defeating their opponents in two sets as well. The second set proved unlucky for the Hornets as their back-and-forth battling fell short when Velasco and Mader digged deep to come from behind and take the set 27-25, and the win.

“[Tuesday] I brought them out here and I told them, you’re going to get the job done,” said coach Esko, “Every team is going to get the job done, we’re going to beat them 5-0. I love the fact that all of them did it. We set that high standard when we got here and put that expectation on them, a little bit of pressure, and they executed.”

The Lady Roadrunners’ only blemish on the stat sheet came from a dropped set from Felipa Moreno and Stephanie Garcia, the team’s fours. Despite losing set two after winning the first set, Moreno and Garcia kept their cool in the beaming sun to take set three 18-16, and the game.

With the match decided and the weather on the courts simmering down, a game between the twos was still to be played.

When Sara Harding and Michelle Rosas stepped on the court, the pair wasted no time to assure a sweep of Fullerton College. The rest of the Roadrunners squad, which already played, were wrapped around court no. 2 in support. Harding and Rosas enjoyed a straightforward win by sweeping the final game (21-8, 21-14).

Postgame, Hornets head coach Eddie Rapp added, “Rio Hondo is very well coached and they took care of the first and second ball very well so they put themselves in a good position to attack different spots on the court and it all starts with a good pass and then a nice set.”

The Roadrunners are a week away from the South-Coast Conference tournament Friday April 20 with opponents yet to be determined and Esko’s commitment for the next week is to help the team improve communication and ball control. They get one more chance to polish before the big dance as the Lady Roadrunners will travel to Hermosa Beach on Friday to face Mt. San Antonio College at 11 a.m.