The Rio Hondo College women's volleyball team played one of its best matches of the season on Wednesday night and nearly upset No. 12 state-ranked El Camino College on the Warriors' home court. Instead, the Roadrunners came home with a tough 3-2 (19-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-19, 16-14) South Coast Conference loss.
Rio Hondo shocked the host Warriors by taking the first two sets of the match and were looking for the sweep in the third. But sloppy play by both teams resulted in El Camino winning the next two sets to force a deciding fifth.
The Warriors appeared to take control early on in the finale, quickly jumping out to a 5-2 lead. But the Roadrunners put together a 7-1 scoring run, sparked by three kills from Sierra Smethurst, to take a 9-6 advantage. The Warriors clawed back, with three of the next four to trim the deficit to one.
It stayed close until the end as the teams were tied 14-14 before consecutive El Camino kills put the match away and gave the Warriors the hard-fought home victory.
Smethurst totaled a season-high 16 kills in the match for Rio Hondo while Nicole Vasquez led her squad with 17 kills and Alina Velo added nine.
Setter Aliah Trujillo had a big match with 51 assists, five aces, 10 digs, and two kills.
Defensively, Janine Coria had a team-high 18 digs, Vasquez totaled 15, and Stephanie Perez came up with 13.
The loss dropped Rio Hondo to 11-9 overall and 5-6 in conference play. The Roadrunners will look to get back on track on Friday (Nov. 1) when they travel to LA Harbor College for a 6 p.m. match.