COSTA MESA – The 2022 Rio Hondo College women's volleyball officially got underway at Orange Coast College on Friday. A freshmen-heavy roster showed promise but ultimately suffered a pair of losses.
The Roadrunners fell in three sets (25-13, 25-19, 25-14) to host Orange Coast in their debut and came up short in a marathon five-set (10-25, 25-22, 27-25, 26-28, 15-12) battle against Santa Monica College.
Sophomore outside hitter Faith Lee, someone head Teddi Esko said Rio Hondo will look to heavily this season, led the offense with 19 kills over the two matches. Lee added 20 digs and served up four aces.
Rio Hondo was matched up with a tough Orange Coast squad in the opener, a team that was coming off a 20-6 season and advanced to second round of the Southern California playoffs last season.
Freshman Maria Bejines led Rio Hondo at the net, slamming home nine kills. Lee posted six kills and 11 digs, Nadine Oronoz totaled 11 digs and four kills, while Fath Wada led Rio Hondo with 18 assists and 18 digs. Jaida Zuniga chipped in with 10 digs, five assists, and two aces.
It was a much closer contest in the afternoon match vs. Santa Monica. Rio Hondo dominated in the opening set, winning 25-10 before SMC edged the Roadrunners over the next two. Rio Hondo pulled out a 28-26 victory in the fourth to force a deciding fifth set that Rio Hondo would drop 15-12.
Lee exploded for 13 kills, nine digs, and 4 aces while Oronoz put up eight kills and 12 digs. Wada added 20 assists and 14 digs while Zuniga led the Roadrunners with 16 digs.
Rio Hondo (0-2) will get its next chance at its first victory on Wednesday (Aug. 31) when the Roadrunners host Santa Ana College at 5 p.m. in their home opener.