Assistant coach leads volleyball team to victory

Kelly Markham goes up for the kill during game against Folsom Lake Photo by Paul Muyskens
Kelly Markham goes up for the kill during game against Folsom Lake Photo by Paul Muyskens

The Delta College volleyball team improved to 8-2 on the season with a 25-23, 25-10, 15-25, 25-20 win over Folsom Lake College on Sept. 19 at Ernie Marcopulos Gymnasium.
“They started out the season strong and I think that having Molly out has been a little bit of a challenge for everybody,” said Assistant Coach Kristie Plateau.

Plateau has taken over for Head Coach Molly Mordaunt-Hummel who coached the first four matches before going on paternity leave.

“It has been a good challenge because they have had to grow and learn from it and I think tonight was one of the first nights that they started to kind of get in their groove.”
Last year’s leading attacker has once again been the leader on offense this season as sophomore Amilya Thompson had a huge first set with six of her 11 kills on the night coming in the opening set win.

“She’s an amazing athlete and an amazing person,” said Plateau about her sophomore that has had to do more than just focus on attacking this season. “I don’t think there is many athletes out there in any sport that can do what she does.”
After just 20 assists in 30 matches all of last season Thompson has been asked to do more setting this season and on the night she had a career-high 23 assists to go along with a career-high 24 digs for her second triple-double this season.

“I definitely agree mentally it was something I just had to try and work with,” said Thompson on her role change this season. “Physically I honestly believe I am prepared to set it’s just all the technical things I just need to work on.”
With their first eight matches of the season all finishing in straight sets the Mustangs looked to be well on their way to a straight-set victory after an impressive second set saw them hit .500 with no attack errors.

Despite out-hitting the Falcons .412 – .333 in the third set the Mustangs dropped the third set before coming back to close it out in four sets.

Angelique Stepanoff had a team-high 12 kills while the Mustangs’ defense held the Falcons to hitting under .100 in each of their set wins.
“I think sometimes the girls get a little relaxed and that is kind of what we saw in the third set,” said Plateau as mistakes limited their scoring opportunities in the set.
“I think we got a little comfortable in that third set,” said Alanna Valdez who tied for a team-best 24 digs on the night. “With our coach out as a team, we have really stepped up and held ourselves accountable. So far I think our season is off to a good start but hopefully, it keeps going upwards.”
They have since won their next two matches to improve to 10-2 on the season and are back home for three matches this weekend starting with a match at 6:30 p.m. Friday Sept. 28 against Modesto at Earnie Marcopulos Gym.

The Mustangs will then take on Fresno at noon and Feather River at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 29.