Comeback! The Roadrunners slam the door on ELAC!

Rio Hondo College ran all over ELAC, in a comeback rivalry win!


Photo Credit: Photo by Lorenzo Gaytan

The team gets hyped up after a big play to continue their dominance in the match. With the crowd chanting and screaming, the team is feeding off that energy and getting excited themselves.

Comeback! Rio Hondo College (RHC) resurrects itself as they go on to win in 3 consecutive sets against rivals East Los Angeles College (ELAC). Celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Lady Roadrunners come into this game on a 3-game winning streak looking to extend it against their rivals up the 10 freeway. After the national anthem and the announcement of the starting lineups, the team threw Breast Cancer Awareness Month goodies to their families in the stands.


The first set started off intense, with the Roadrunners going down early. However, the team kept the game very tight. Cheers and chants roared throughout the gym from the ELAC bench to the RHC bench and even the crowd.


This rivalry game was in full swing. Co-captain, #7, Nadine Oronoz was locked in with very big swings in the first set, but it was the team’s defense that was really keeping them in the game with some very big stops. Unfortunately, small mistakes gave ELAC the advantage as they took set 1, 21-25


The second set picked up right where the first left off. High-intensity play calls for some heated moments from the ELAC players as some errors became costly. A Rio Hondo rally pulled them back into the game. However, ELAC’s defense stepped up and shut them down.


Haidee Estrella, #15 had a big set, creating chances and scoring points as well as making great saves and stops. In the end, the ELAC defense got them through it and helped them take the set, 20-25


At the break, RHC Coach Teddi Esko rallied the troops in team talk before the set saying, “this is your night!” That lit a fire in the team and got them focused on the set ahead. Rio Hondo dominated the set with a great offense and defense.


Oronoz again was playing lights out offense scoring every ball she touched, with her setter, #4, Faith Wada getting in on the action to assist her. Libero, #3, Jennifer Reynoso, and the other girls on the bench, got the crowd and the team hyped up as they dominated ELAC 25-17


The domination continued in set 4 as the Roadrunners continued to run all over ELAC, scoring left and right. The crowd inside the gym was electric, chanting “Let’s Go Rio” and “Beat LA!” Wada had an eight serve rally with an ace in there until ELAC’s defense woke up and stopped the bleeding. The entire team continued to be locked in as they played with such drive and passion that ultimately won them the set 25-18.


The game was tied 2-2 going into set 5, and the stakes were raised even higher, as it was the first to 15 to win. Each team played with a fire to win that made the energy palpable as both benches were jumping up and down each time their team scored.


Rio Hondo played a very tight game as they were neck and neck with ELAC the entire match until the end, where an ELAC mistake made it 14-13. Then, a strong spike by #16, Jayleen Garcia, won the game and completed the comeback at the death. 


El Paisano Media had the chance to grab an interview with Coach Esko who said, “Bottom line, we had a great game plan coming into this match, we showed hints of it set 1 and set 2, as you saw the scores are close, we’re in it. Going into set 3, we took a step back, and told the girls let’s stick with the game plan. Let’s go back and stay the course, stay focused. We were allowing ELAC into this game with a lot of errors, and pull back on that, start executing the game plan. They started doing it, they stayed focused, and handled it.”


“The energy was great, I mean, look at this gym. We had the mascot here tonight, we had the waterpolo team. I mean you can’t not feed off of the positive energy. That’s one thing i’m trying to drive with these girls is if you want to get something done, you have to project it and stick your mind to it, and tonight we kept with that. Project, project, project, and it worked.” 


El Paisano also spoke with co-captains Nadine Oronoz and Jennifer Martinez after the game and this is what they had to say. Oronoz said they’ll “go with the same mindset, hungry to win, not to take the errors so personally and just shake it off to compete with the team,” against El Camino on Friday, Oct. 7th. 


Martinez said, “we put a lot of work and training into this game and it showed in the game, so it was great. [The atmosphere] was ecstatic, the energy was great, you felt it on the court and off it, so it was great energy throughout.” Finally when asked about taking the confidence from this win into the El Camino game, she said, “Oh definitely, yes. We’ll be going and traveling, and we’ll bring home a W for Rio Hondo.”


The Roadrunners travel to El Camino College for their next league matchup, starting at 6pm.


UPDATE** The Roadrunners lost 3-0 to El Camino on Friday. RHC is now 6-5 in the league, with their next matchup against Pasadena City College on Friday, Oct. 14 at home.