The 2009 Saddleback College women’s volleyball team is returning three players from its 2008 roster. Returning to the Gauchos is outside hitter Alicia Dishno, formerly of Capistrano Valley High School, along with middle blockers Amber Smith, formerly of Trabuco Hills High School, and Rachel Talafus, formerly of San Clemente High School.
Dishno had 120 kills last season in 67 games played. 50 of her kills occurred in Orange Empire Conference play, a total of 37 games. Dishno was second on the team in kills last season. She had 163 digs and 23 aces.
Smith made 47 kills in 44 games with seven assists and 11 aces. Talafus accounted for 31 kills in 75 games with 18 assists and 25 aces.
The Gauchos open up today against Southwestern in the Saddleback gym at 6 p.m. The Gauchos will start OEC play on Friday October 2 with a home match against Orange Coast College at 6 p.m.
Carmen Stratten, who took over on an interim basis in 2006 and became head coach in 2007, coaches the Gauchos. She is entering her fourth season as head coach. Stratten played at Saddleback in 2002 and earned first team all-OEC. She continued her career at Concordia University in Irvine. As an Eagle she earned all-Golden State Athletic Conference honors, all region and also received an All-American honor.
The Gauchos look to rebound from a sub-par 4-17 overall and 2-12 OEC record in 2008.