By Marcus Camacho
The East Los Angeles College women’s volleyball team should improve the upcoming season after a strong recruitment. ELAC has recruited 13 athletes, who have played club volleyball or high school volleyball on the average of at least two years.
“We have some players that can play in multiple positions on the floor. So as far as recruiting for a community college, we’ve done a good job for next year,” ELAC Head Coach Elliot Walker said.
One of ELAC’s star recruits is Mia Maddot from Martin Luther King High School of Riverside. She has experience in competitive volleyball, playing championship ball. King High School won the CIF title last year.
“She’s going to be an outstanding middle and right side attacker. We have a couple of young ladies that are coming in as our outside hitters and setter that is going to be very good,” Walker said.
ELAC has two setters transferring in, Serly Andrias of Glendale High School, who is coming in to quarterback the floor and Angela Carrasco, a transfer from Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies.
The team in regards of setters is going to be pretty well balanced as far as young freshman.
The coach has high regard for its returning setter Vanessa Guttierrez.
“Gutierrez is probably going to carry the team to start off the season as the freshman get adjusted. Then the team has some good DS (defensive specialists) who are coming in to help the team with its game,” Walker said.
Newcomers such as Edith Martinez of Montebello High School, sister of ELAC’s returning defensive specialist Jenifer Martinez. She is the defensive specialist. Breanna Trujillo a transfer from Montebello High School is an outside hitter.
“So the team is going to be pretty balanced on the floor,” Walker said.
“During the offseason we worked on our offense. Last year we had a strong defense and we had a weak offense,” Stephanie Landry outside hitter and returner said.
According to Walker the reason why the team wasn’t strong as an offensive team was because it didn’t emphasize offense.
“Our game is defense and is teaching how to transition out of defense this year because we have power attackers who are going to be coming in, about four or five,” Walker said.
“The team is going to be a stronger offensive team because of its strong defense. The team’s strong defense is what is going to help them carry over into an offensive team. The women seem enthusiastic and ready to make a change for the better.”
Walker incorporated badminton racquets into his practice plan. The racquets are a tool that he uses to help the athletes learn how to properly swing the arm when contacting the ball.
“By using the racquet, the ladies will learn the proper body biomechanics of contacting and terminating the ball during contact.Tools like the racket provide a visual tool and facilitates the student understanding of what is being asked of them,” Walker said.
“Well I try not to focus on what I wanted to do but to focus on what my coach wanted me to do, so I try to let go of the bad habits and to learn all the good things my coaches try to teach me,” returning outside hitter Eriazmin Mauries said.
“This year the team is looking at taking their game to another level by putting it all together, both offensively and defensively,” Walker said.
With the attackers that Walker has recruited coming in next year are going to add a lot of flavor to the floor, the team is going to have team diversity going into next year.
“Players are going to play multiple positions and that’s going to give the team another offensive weapon unlike the previous two years when they were trying to build the program,” Walker said
The team has a 21-game schedule, so Walkers’ goal is to win at least 50 percent of those matches.
“I think with this team will get a good 70 percent so I want to be at 70 percent for this team as far as a coach. I think (what) I really want to do is really compete with the top-notch level of competition,” Walker said.
They have done that by starting with physical training. Walker had the women take a test of their physical output and most of the women were probably doing a good 40 percent physical output, according to Walker.
According to Walker the women are doing a good 85 percent output.
“The women have accomplished that task and the team is looking forward to seeing that carry over onto the floor,” Walker said.
“The ladies are much more powerful now compared to last year. Their bio dynamics as far as their rhythm and how they are using their body has increased,” he said.
During the offseason the ladies worked on increasing their on-court IQ. On-court IQ is understanding various game situations and the dynamics of the game to a higher level of competition so the team can be a stronger competitor and that’s done through training.
“I hope we win games and not die out like last year,” Landry said.
The season will begin August 23 at 8 a.m. at Chaffey College with a scrimmage. The Huskies begin SCC play at Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at Los Angeles Harbor College.
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