Women’s Volleyball: Esko, Roadrunners ready for 2022 season

Women’s Volleyball: Esko, Roadrunners ready for 2022 season

The 2022 Rio Hondo College women's volleyball season officially gets underway on Friday, Aug. 26 when the Roadrunners travel to Orange Coast College to take on the host Pirates and Santa Monica College in a tri-match.

Head coach Teddi Esko, now in her milestone 20th year leading the program, is excited for the fall season to finally get underway. The Roadrunners begin the season with an impressive roster of 17 student-athletes. Esko will look to a returning core of five sophomores to provide leadership to her young squad.

"This team has been training for the 2022 season since July 11th, in the gym, weight room and classroom," said Esko. "We have been focusing on our physical and mental game, preparing for the journey to come. It has been awesome to see our returners step up and lead the new Roadrunners on and off the court, teaching them the Rio Way! We have a strong returning core with some talented newcomers. This squad is ready to take to the court and compete, I can't wait!"

The offense will be led by returning setters Faith Wada and Haedee Estrella. Wada was one of two Roadrunners to earn All-South Coast Conference honors last fall. She was a first-team All-SCC selection after ranking fourth in the conference by averaging 5.69 assists per set. 

Estrella saw action in 19 matches last fall and served up 12 aces. She'll look to play a bigger role on this year's squad.

"Faith and Haedee are doing a great job leading our team and running a fast-paced tempo offense," said Esko. 

On the outside, returning hitters Nadine Oronoz and Faith Lee will anchor the attack. Oronoz, a team captain from last year, was a second-team All-SCC selection for Rio Hondo while Lee was fourth on the Roadrunners with 111 kills.

"Oronoz and Lee are coming off a very successful first season for Rio Beach Volleyball (Spring 2022) by advancing to the SoCal Regional Playoffs," Esko said. "They are looking stronger than ever, credit to the beach season as their spring sand time has enhanced their indoor game."

Back after an early season-ending injury from last fall is sophomore libero Daniela Sanchez. She is expected to help steady the back line for Rio Hondo.

"Dani has worked very hard post-surgery and is ready to return to the court with Roadrunners," Esko said.

For Rio Hondo to be successful this fall, Esko will need her freshmen to step up as well. Solid newcomers include Jennifer Martinez, who was selected team captain, and Jayleen Garcia.

"Jennifer and Jayleen will be providing some firepower in the middle for the us this season," said Esko.

Libero Jaida Zuniga outside hitter Jasmin Miramontes are both expected to make an immediate impact while Maria Bejines, a late addition to the roster, is a well-rounded versatile pin.

Rounding out the roster are liberos Jennifer Reynoso and Desiree Olvera, setters Daisy Macias-Cruz and Mariela Duarte, outside hitters Maleia Petterez and Amaya Monae Carlos, and middle blocker Miavera Olmedo. All will get their opportunity to contribute.

Rio Hondo will see its first action on the court this Friday (Aug. 19) at the Cerritos College scrimmage tournament. Following the season-opener on Aug. 26, the Roadrunners will make their home debut on Aug. 31 against Santa Ana College at 5 p.m.  Rio Hondo begins South Coast Conference play on Sep. 28 when it hosts Cerritos at 6 p.m.

The Roadrunners will look to improve on last year's season that saw Rio Hondo compile an 8-16 overall record and 6-11 mark in South Coast Conference play.