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Continued Success, Growth On Court For Escalon Volleyball
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Captain Rylie Lattig goes up to set the ball in Thursday night action, Aug. 25 against Manteca. It was their third contest of the week, and the varsity Lady Cougars swept the Buffaloes out of the EHS gym, 3-0. Lattig had an all-around stellar night, including 33 assists. Marg Jackson/The Times

Wrapping up another successful week, the varsity Lady Cougars went through their first couple of weeks of preseason volleyball action compiling an 8-0 record.

“These girls are doing amazing things on the court. Our serve receive and passing are top notch right now. Rylie Lattig is doing a fantastic job with taking control of her offense. She continues to spread the sets around to her hitters,” said head coach Teresa Williamson. “Emily Vickers is leading our team in kills with 95 and is one of our top leaders in aces (14) and digs (62). Both Emily and Rylie have honed in on their position as the captains.”

The team started the week with the Foundation game against Central Catholic, then played Tracy and Manteca High.

“From our first scrimmages and tournament to a week of playing top volleyball teams, these girls are getting better and better each match. We have this mental block on set 3, and seem to lose focus,” explained Williamson. “The good thing is we refocused and take care of business in set 4. Then we played Manteca and were able to beat a talented team in 3. I am so pleased with what I have seen from this team and excited to watch them grow.”

Against Central Catholic in the Foundation game, it was Escalon 3, Central 1 with scores of 25-13; 25-14; 13-25; 25-15. Leaders were: Rylie Lattig 35 assists and 14 digs; Emily Vickers 22 kills, 3 blocks, 11 digs; Gianna Bava 9 kills, 1 block, 2 aces; Lisa Murga 3 blocks.

It was another 3-1 win against Tracy, 25-19; 25-15; 22-25; 25-22 with Lattig leading the way with 34 assists 12 digs and 2 blocks. Also, Emily Vickers 17 kills, 4 aces, 15 digs; Bava 8 kills, 3 aces, 3 blocks; Sophia Martin 6 kills, 3 aces, 4 digs; Faye Hernandez and Macie Vickers, 11 digs.

Closing out the week with a contest that drew a good, vocal crowd for both sides, the Lady Cougars shut down Manteca, 3-0, taking care of business 25-16; 25-15; 25-16. Topping the leaderboard were Lattig, 33 assists; 2 aces; 3 kills and 10 digs; Emily Vickers 14 kills; 2 aces; 10 digs; 1 block; Faye Hernandez 1 ace; 16 digs; Macie Vickers 3 aces, 8 digs; Martin 4 aces, 4 kills, 4 digs; Bava 5 kills; Mallory Berhorst, Claire Barkus, and Carsyn Hood 3 kills; and Murga and Madison Smith 2 kills.

“We have a very tough week coming up. We are away for all three matches, Ripon Christian, Enochs, and Orestimba,” said Williamson.


Junior Varsity

Taking the court for two matches this week, the JV team defeated Tracy in two games, starting off set one on a 9-0 run. Helping get the team off to the fast start was server Karisa McNeil.

“Taking the lead early on helped us settle in a little more,” said head coach Shay Beam. “Outside Chloe Fraser and libero Natalie Giuntoli both had great games that helped secure the win.”

Final scores were 25-17 and 25-22.

They were on the home court for a Thursday contest, hosting Manteca and took that contest in two games as well, with defensive specialist Mady Herrera stepping up with five aces, four kills and five digs. Giuntoli added 12 digs and McNeil had 10 acres. Freshman middle Marina Franzia had five kills.

“Saturday, we traveled to the Orestimba Tournament,” Beam said. “It was a nice morning, taking wins over Chowchilla (25-21, 25-23) Gustine (25-9, 25-17) and Pacheco (25-15, 25-15).”

After winning the morning pool, they moved into bracket play where they first took on and defeated Mariposa, 25-23, 25-22.

“I had been waiting to see what this year’s team could do in terms of talking, being aggressive, competitive in general,” Beam added. “Next match in the semifinals we played Ripon Christian.”

Escalon took the first set, 25-22, but made some errors in set two and lost 13-25.

“Set three we started slow and dug ourselves a hole,” the coach noted. “The score was 9-14, game point for RC and the girls fought hard. They played fantastic but unfortunately we decided to fight a little too late and lost 13-15.”

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Lady Cougar junior Sophia Martin slams home a kill during Thursday’s non-league match against visiting Manteca. She recorded four kills, four aces and four digs in the contest, a 3-0 Escalon victory. Marg Jackson/The Times