Delta volleyball off to undefeated start

Volleyball 2019 Preview
Angel Lambert (L) and Stephanie Fopiano go up for a block during match against Los Medanos. Photos by Paul Muyskens

While the names and faces of those suiting up and taking the court for the Delta College women’s volleyball team change on a yearly basis, the results remain the same as the Mustangs are off to a 4-0 start to the season for the third year in a row.

“We have a lot of new kids in the gym that are really playing at a really high level, and they are going to have to learn how to play consistently at that level,” said head coach Molly Mordaunt-Hummel after straight-set wins against Los Medanos and Solano.

After losing three of their top four attackers from last season, the Mustangs’ top returning attacker is sophomore Angelique Stepanoff, who had 174 kills last season. Stepanoff is one of three captains this season, along with sophomores Stephanie Fopiano and Nicole Segovia.

“Stephanie brings a lot of maturity to the group, Angelique brings a lot of playing experience and Nicole brings a lot of energy and passion to the game,” said Mordaunt-Hummel about her three captains.

Stepanoff celebrates
Angelique Stepanoff celebrates a point during match against Solano

“I feel like I have a lot of weight on my shoulders and I like it,” said Stepanoff about her increased role this season as one of the captains as she has averaged a team-high 11 kills along with seven digs per match to start the season. “I like the pressure, it makes me play better. I want to push all the other girls to do the best that they can.”

In their most recent win, a three-set sweep over Taft, the Mustangs did not have a single player record double-digit kills while five players had at least six kills each.

“I would say that with this team there is so much depth in every position which makes it tough to figure out but it also is really reassuring because if you are having a bad night, you have somebody else to help you out,” said Mordaunt-Hummel.

Among the newcomers making an impact to start the season are Kacy Bolding and libero Analiese Almgren. Bolding has been the main setter to start the season as she has averaged nearly six assists per set while Almgren had a 26 dig performance during the Mustangs five-set win against De Anza and is averaging four digs per set.

“Our overall goal is to win conference and make it to state,” said Stepanoff.

The pursuit of that goal continues on Friday when they play at noon to open the Delta Classic. Played over two days the prestigious Delta Classic will see 16 teams compete attempting to win the largest tournament held every year in California.