Women’s Volleyball: Roadrunners win two at Saddleback Quad

The Rio Hondo College women's volleyball team following their two hard-fought wins at the Saddleback College Quad.
The Rio Hondo College women's volleyball team following their two hard-fought wins at the Saddleback College Quad.

The impressive start to the 2019 season continued for the Rio Hondo College women's volleyball team. On Friday at the Saddleback College Quad, the Roadrunners stunned unbeaten host Saddleback 3-2 and cruised to a sweep of Santa Ana College to close out their day.

The two victories propelled Rio Hondo to a 5-1 overall record.

Against Saddleback, Rio Hondo stormed out to a 2-0 lead after taking the first two sets 25-19, 25-21. The Gauchos regrouped to win Set 3 and 4 15-25, 21-25 before the Roadrunners dug deep to take the deciding fifth set 15-7.

"Our team started the match very strong," said head coach Teddi Esko. "We played solid in Set 1 and 2, but had some trouble in Set 3 and 4. We made some adjustments, got our focus on track and played fantastic in Set 5 to close out the match."

Aliah Trujillo had a huge match for Rio Hondo with 36 assists, 10 digs, and five aces. Nicole Vasquez also put together an excellent all-around effort with 10 kills, eight digs, and three aces.

Janine Coria came up big on the defensive end, posting 15 digs to go with three assists and an ace. Katherina O'Brien led the Roadrunners with 11 kills while Mara Sanchez had eight digs.

 There was no let down after the five-set effort against Saddleback. The Roadrunners came out even stronger posting the 25-16, 25-19, 25-20 win over Santa Ana later in the afternoon.

"We got a strong performance out of all players," said Esko. "We executed very well offensively, served tough and took care of business."

Trujillo once again paced the offense, totaling 16 assists to go with two aces. Stephanie Perez led the Roadrunners with seven digs and Vasquez served up a pair of aces.

Danielle Betancourt had a team-high eight kills with a .390 hitting percentage and added two blocks. Sierra Smethurst also got in on the action, hitting .500 in the contest with four kills.

"Today was a great day to be a Lady Roadrunner," said Esko. "Our team has so much depth and versatility. We have been doing lots of mental training and focusing on our mentality. Our goal is to maintain a positive mindset, be confident, and have trust in our abilities."

"Today we achieved our goal," she added. "I am so proud of this team's growth so far. I'm excited to see them back in action."

Rio Hondo will look to keep the momentum going on Wednesday (Sep. 11) when the Roadrunners host San Diego City College in a 5 p.m. non-conference match.