STOCKTON — While Amilya Thompson and the Delta College volleyball team were hosting their annual tournament, their head coach was busy welcoming a daughter to her family.
Mustangs coach Molly Mordaunt-Hummel gave birth to Emeline “Emmy” Hummel on Sept. 7, and is on maternity leave until further notice.
Delta, last year’s state runner-up, is still surging as its coach enjoys motherhood. The Mustangs topped Folsom Lake 25-23, 25-10, 15-25, 25-20 in a Big 8 Conference match Wednesday at Marcopulos Gym behind 11 kills and 12 assists from Thompson.
“Early on we knew Molly was pregnant so we had to prepare ourselves to hold each other accountable,” said Thompson, a sophomore from Lincoln High who rotates between hitter and setter. “We have to be like each others’ coaches.”
Stepping up for Mordaunt-Hummel is assistant Kristie Plateau as acting head coach. Plateau, in her fourth year as a Delta assistant, was a setter at Lodi High in her playing days.
“It’s been a growing experience for the girls,” Plateau said. “They started out the season strong, and having Molly out has been a little bit of a challenge for everybody. But it’s a good challenge.
“Tonight was one of the first nights that they’ve started to kind of get in their groove.”
The Mustangs (8-2, 2-0 Big 8) found that groove midway through Game 1 and barreled through a decisive Game 2 win.
Megan Kosky’s first kill of the match – a thunderous one at that – finished Game 2.
Delta opened Game 2 on a 6-0 run, highlighted by an ace from Angelique Stepanoff and a block from Lincoln alumna Angel Lambert.
But Folsom Lake (6-2, 1-1) punched back in Game 3, catching Delta in a complacent state (according to Plateau and Mustangs libero Alanna Valdez) to keep the match alive.
“We got a little comfortable, definitely,” the Tokay graduate Valdez said with a smile, “which is something we’re working on.”
But in Game 4, Delta sharpened again and the reigning All-American Thompson flew all over the court for attacks and sets to her teammates. Thanks in large part to Thompson, the Mustangs had five players earn five kills or more – paced by Thompson’s 11.
“She’s an amazing athlete and an amazing person,” Plateau said. “I don’t think there are many athletes out there who can do what she can do.”
Delta continues Big 8 play against Cosumnes River on Friday in Sacramento and returns to Stockton to face Santa Rosa next Wednesday.
Mordaunt-Hummel’s return timeline is unknown, but Plateau doesn’t think she’d want to be on the shelf all season.
“Not if she has her way,” Plateau said. “Of course, she’s itching to get back. But also she’s enjoying being a mom and trying to recover from giving birth. She’s playing it day-by-day and going from there.”
- By Thomas Lawrence, Record Correspondent
By The Record