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Lady Cougars Bag Two Wins In Playoff Chase
Down 7-13 in their opening game Wednesday night against Modesto Christian, varsity volleyball head coach Teresa Williamson called a time out and let her girls know they'd better wake up.

Whatever else she said in the huddle worked, as the girls regrouped, found a rhythm and reeled off eight straight points to take a 15-13 lead before the Crusaders were able to side out.

The comeback set the tone for an Escalon victory, the varsity squad winning 25-19, 25-18, 25-16 in their Senior Night contest on the home court.

The game was moved to Wednesday from its normal Thursday schedule, since varsity football was moved up from Friday to Thursday.

That meant the girls played back-to-back matches, defeating Riverbank on Tuesday and doubling back to do the same to Modesto Christian on Wednesday.

"I told them they'd gotten off to a slow start, that they weren't focused and they needed to get their head in the game, no excuses," Williamson said of her timeout call on Wednesday. "I also told them if they continued to play like that, there wouldn't be any playoff games."

Coming back to put away Modesto Christian in the first game, Williamson said she felt comfortable in games two and three, though the point differential wasn't huge.

"They did have some good plays," she said of visiting Modesto Christian, "but we had control."

Lindsey Anderson had 16 digs on the night and Kaitlyn Brayton added 13 kills. Katie Aprile had 16 assists, Breanna Brodie came away with three aces and Kristi Rigg and Rachel Leal had three blocks apiece. The night also featured recognition for seniors Rachel Leal and Amanda Franklin, honored at center court prior to the game.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, the girls were on the road in Riverbank and won there in three, 25-8, 25-7, 25-14.

"We pretty much just dominated the whole night," Williamson said. "We had a great serving night, Amanda Franklin had eight aces."

Brayton had nine kills, Anderson notched 16 digs and Aprile dished out 15 assists.

"I told the girls to get mentally prepared for the playoffs, to stop messing around and play solid volleyball," Williamson said. "That's what they did."

Escalon was still waiting for final word on a playoff berth at press time and was slated to close out Trans-Valley League play with a game at home against nemesis Ripon on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Playoffs are scheduled to start Nov. 10 and Williamson said her team had a good shot at making the postseason, but would definitely be on the road if they made the cut.