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Varsity Volleyball Girls Bring Title Back To Town
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Members of the varsity volleyball team hold hands and stand at attention during the National Anthem prior to the start of Saturday afternoon’s Section championship match in Ripon. Escalon swept to a 3-0 win over Sonora to earn the Division 4 Section crown. Marg Jackson/The Times

With a 3-0 sweep of No. 2 seed Sonora, the Escalon varsity Lady Cougars claimed the Sac-Joaquin Section Division volleyball title on Saturday.

The championship match, hosted at Ripon High School, saw the top seed Lady Cougars sweep their way to the blue banner.

It was the second consecutive title for Escalon, although with a season in between. The 2019 volleyball girls won the first ever Section title for the school in volleyball. Last year, it was a COVID-shortened season with no playoffs. This year, the squad had the opportunity for a full league season, went 10-0 in the Trans-Valley League, and truly hit their stride heading into the postseason, never dropping a set in the quarterfinals, semifinals or finals.

In a roughly one-hour match on Nov. 6, Escalon controlled the first set, fell behind but battled back to win the second, and then decided to end it in three, shutting down Sonora in a 25-10 final to seal the Section championship.

Two players – senior Mandy Murphy and junior Emily Vickers – were part of that 2019 Blue Banner team and head coach Teresa Williamson credited their leadership with helping get this year’s squad ready for the title defense.

Look for the full story, reaction from players and the coach, and photos of the championship match in the Nov. 10 issue of The Times.

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Now a two-time volleyball Section champion, junior Emily Vickers and teammate, senior Amanda ‘Mandy’ Murphy, both played key roles in leading this year’s varsity squad in the quest to bring the blue banner back to Escalon. Marg Jackson/The Times