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First Round NorCal Win, Second Round Loss For Volleyball
11-16 Vickers
Sending the ball back over the net in NorCal action, Lady Cougar co-captain Emily Vickers splits the Los Altos defense in the Nov. 8 contest. Escalon, seeded ninth in DII, edged out the host number eight seed Eagles, 3-2. Photo Courtesy Of T. Mallie Brathwaite

Completing another Section title championship run, Escalon’s varsity Lady Cougars headed into NorCals, bumped up into Division 2 for volleyball.

They had already been moved up from Division 4 into Division 3 for the Section playoffs and grabbed the blue banner with a 3-2 win over Christian Brothers on Saturday, Nov. 5.

“These ladies made history by being a part of the three-peat Section Championship, with this last one being in D3,” noted head coach Teresa Williamson. 

No time for rest, the quick turnaround saw the girls on the road Tuesday, Nov. 8 as they traveled to face off with the number eight seed Los Altos Eagles in Division 2 NorCal action.

There, it was another marathon match, going five sets, and this time – as the underdog – the varsity girls nailed down the opening round win, outlasting the host team 3-2.

Scores were 27-25; 22-25; 25-15; 20-25; 15-9.

It was a familiar list of players leading across the categories, paced by co-captain Rylie Lattig with 45 assists, 14 digs, and three blocks. Co-captain Emily Vickers had 24 kills, 20 digs and two aces on the night.

Other standouts were: Gianna Bava eight kills, five blocks, two aces; Sophia Martin seven kills; Lisa Murga five kills, seven blocks; Faye Hernandez 15 digs; Kendra Gwartney 13 digs.

The prize for that opening round NorCal win was another long road trip; this one to Clovis North to face off with the D2 top seed Mustangs.

There, the storybook season came to an end, as the host school sent Escalon home, sweeping the Lady Cougars in a competitive match, 23-25, 16-25, 16-25.

Against the Mustangs, Lattig had 18 assists, three blocks, and seven digs while Bava notched six kills and three blocks.

Emily Vickers recorded five kills, four aces, and eight digs; Carsyn Hood had three kills; Murga three blocks; Hernandez nine digs.

Clovis North went on to sweep number four seed Tamalpais in the semifinals 3-0 and were to face off in the regional finals on Nov. 15 against the number two seed team, with the winner heading to the state championship.

Escalon had a historical season, with a 12-0 run through the Trans-Valley League, a third straight Section title – even moving up a division – and then getting past the first round in NorCals, also having been moved up a division. They ended the campaign with an incredible 33 wins and just two losses, both against Division 1 schools.

“They have so much to be proud of,” Williamson stated. “I am so proud of these girls and all that they have accomplished.”

11-16 Lattig
Escalon varsity volleyball co-captain Rylie Lattig sets the ball during opening round action of the NorCal Division II playoffs, as the Lady Cougars went on the road and defeated Los Altos on Nov. 8. Photo Courtesy Of T. Mallie Brathwaite