Rio Hondo College suffers its first beach volleyball season loss to El Camino


El Camino sophomore Leafa Juarez tips the ball over the net as Rio Hondo College sophomore Faith Wada (right) attempts to block during a March 17 conference matchup at Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach. (Eddy Cermeno | The Union) Photo credit: Eddy Cermeno

After a historic 9-0 seasonal record with eight perfect games, Rio Hondo College suffered its first loss at the hands of El Camino College on Friday, March 17.

Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach was the venue for the South Coast Conference beach volleyball game between the El Camino Warriors (9-2) and the Rio Hondo Roadrunners (9-1).

Both teams played close, to-the-wire sets in all of their matches, leaving them tied overall 2-2 as the final match was still being played.

The match between Warriors’ Bridget Dorr and Ginia Goods against Roadrunners’ Denisse Sanchez and Madison Mader, would break the tie.

With the Warriors winning the last set in that match 15-5, Dorr and Goods made the comeback and claimed the 3-2 victory against the Roadrunners who were undefeated this season.

Administration of justice major Leafa Juarez played in the first match of the day for the Warriors with her teammate Francheska Aguilar.

Juarez and Aguilar lost the first set 18-21 but would go on to win the next two sets 21-18 and 15-9.

Juarez has been playing with Aguilar for two months and believes having trust in each other is important.

“You have to trust your partner,” Juarez said. “It’s a two-man sport so you have to believe in them.”

Juarez said it took time to adjust to playing at the game’s early start time of 10 a.m., but after winning the match, she felt there were still things for her and the team to work on.

“I feel l relied too much on my partner,” Juarez said. “We have to take care of the easier balls and handle our business, we make things harder on ourselves.”

Faith Lee, a chemistry major at Rio Hondo, won both sets alongside Nadine Oronoz in their match for the Roadrunners 22-20 and 21-18.

Lee is in her second year playing for the Rio Hondo beach volleyball team. She spoke to The Union about her performance on the day and takeaways from the match.

“I didn’t perform my best, my offense wasn’t very accurate, but defense wise we played well,” Lee said.“We definitely need to communicate more and be more hyped.”

Rio Hondo’s assistant coach Paul Esko said both teams played well and each game was very close.

“Overall great day… it’s a game of inches and a couple points, whoever gets off to a better start makes the other team have less time to make a comeback.”

“In moments we made errors and the other team didn’t…we need to be more offensive and confident on offense, stay connected as a team,” Esko said.

Warriors Coach Le Valley Pattison was proud of the team members that were able to make comebacks, but felt the team had a lot of room to grow after the win.

“Loved that they turned it around, but unforced errors were apparent,” Pattison said.

After the win, the team sat around the coaches where they addressed areas that needed improvement and afterward Pattison would continue to speak with The Union to give a final remark on the game.

“At times we have good communications and sometimes we just talk to talk,” Pattison said. “We get in our minds too much and have to let things develop.”

The El Camino Warriors’ will travel to Mt. San Antonio in Walnut on Friday, March 24 to take on the Long Beach City College Vikings at 10 a.m., then will face Mt. San Antonio at noon.


Editor’s Note:

  • Removed repeat information on March 17, 2023, at 10:21 p.m.
  • Added additional game schedule information on March 19, 2023, at 12:13 a.m.