An impressive 2022 season for the Rio Hondo College women's volleyball team will continue into the postseason. On Thursday, the Roadrunners were named the No. 14 seed for the upcoming Southern California Regional Playoffs. Postseason brackets were announced by the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) for the north and south regions.
Rio Hondo will host No. 19 seed College of the Desert on Saturday (Nov. 19) at 6:00 p.m. in a first-round playoff match in Whittier.
"We are very excited to be entering playoffs and starting off the first round with a home match against College of the Desert," said head coach Teddi Esko. "Our team is improving week-by-week and are well-prepared for Saturday."
Ticket prices for the CCCAA postseason game at the Rio Hondo College Gym are $12 for general admission and $8 for all identified students, faculty, staff, senior citizens age 60 and over, and children under 12 years old. Children 5 and under are free.
Saturday's match will mark the second "Battle of the Birds" this season. On Oct. 26, the Rio Hondo Roadrunners defeated the College of the Desert Roadrunners 3-1. COD won an Inland Empire Athletic Conference championship this season with a perfect 10-0 mark and is 15-8 overall.
Rio Hondo wrapped up an amazing regular season with a 13-6 overall record. After starting the season 0-3, the Roadrunners went on to win 13 of their final 16 matches, including back-to-back upset victories over a pair of state-ranked opponents.
On Oct. 14, Rio Hondo knocked off then No. 10-ranked Pasadena City College at home and followed that with a five-set triumph at No. 10 and eventual South Coast Conference champion Mt. San Antonio College on Oct. 19. The two victories were a part of a season-long seven-match winning streak.
The Roadrunners closed out the South Coast Conference schedule in second place with a 9-3 mark and were ranked No. 20 in the most-recent California Community College Women's Volleyball Coaches Association (CCCWVCA) State Poll released on Nov. 7.
Following their standout regular season, the Roadrunners were honored with six postseason awards.
Leading the way was Esko as she was selected the South Coast Conference Coach of the Year. It was her second SCC Coach of the Year honor and fourth overall.
"I am honored to be recognized by my conference colleagues," said Esko. "I share this award and achievement with my staff and players. We all work very hard to make Rio Hondo Volleyball a successful program on and off the court. I am blessed to work with such an amazing group and look forward to our playoff run."
Named All-South Coast Conference first team were sophomore setter Faith Wada, sophomore outside hitter Nadine Oronoz, and freshman middle blocker Maria Bejines. Capturing second-team accolades were sophomore libero Daniela Sanchez and sophomore outside hitter Faith Lee.
The Roadrunners are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2019 and also reached the postseason in 2012. A win on Saturday would advance Rio Hondo to a second-round match at No. 3 Moorpark College on Tuesday (Nov. 22).
Three wins are needed by Rio Hondo to advance the CCCAA Women's Volleyball State Championships, scheduled for Dec. 2-4 at Fresno City College in Fresno.