Women’s Volleyball: Rio Hondo one win from state tourney, beat Moorpark in 4

Rio Hondo beat Moorpark 3-1 in Round 2 of the Southern California Regional Playoffs.
Rio Hondo beat Moorpark 3-1 in Round 2 of the Southern California Regional Playoffs.

WHITTIER – A historic 2023 Rio Hondo College women's volleyball season continues.

After capturing the program's first South Coast Conference championship earlier this year, Rio Hondo achieved a new first by advancing to the third round of the Southern California Regional Playoffs after Wednesday night's 25-19, 25-23, 14-25, 25-20 victory over No. 11 seed Moorpark College in Round 2.

"I'm so proud of this team," said Rio Hondo head coach Teddi Esko. "They competed, played with heart, executed the game plan, and achieved another goal on our list."

South Coast Conference MVP Maria Bejines had another big match, posting 16 kills and 15 digs while SCC Libero of the Year Jaida Zuniga totaled 31 digs. Carly Kejnar led Rio Hondo with 32 assists, Jade Fuentes added 11 kills, and Madison Mader contributed 18 digs. 

The Roadrunners are just one win away from reaching the state championships for the first time – another milestone for the program. But No. 6-seeded Rio Hondo will have to knock off one of the top teams in the state, No. 3-seed Grossmont College, when the two squads meet in El Cajon for their third-round match on Saturday (Nov. 25).

Grossmont improved to 25-1 this season with its 3-0 second-round playoff win over Mt. San Jacinto College on Wednesday night. The Griffins, the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champions, have won 19 straight. Their last loss came on Sept. 8 against Mt. San Antonio College (3-2).

Rio Hondo brings a seven-match winning streak into Saturday's playoff contest. The South Coast Conference-champion Roadrunners are 21-4 overall.

The two squads will be meeting for the first time this season. The winner will advance to the 3C2A State Championships on Dec. 1-3 at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.