Working hard to get on a roll as the regular season winds down, Escalon’s varsity volleyball girls nailed down a pair of Trans-Valley League victories this week. They topped Riverbank on Monday, Oct. 20 and Hughson on Thursday, Oct. 23.
“We beat Riverbank in three, it was nice, we got to play everybody, even my foreign exchange student,” said varsity coach Kayla Kootstra.
Scores were 25-5, 25-14, 25-16. Kootstra said after winning the first game so decisively, she was able to get all her players in and work on set plays and different attacks with the girls. The running of the team on the court was left to Taylor Laugero, one of the two team captains.
“I told Taylor just to work on spreading the options out, work on something other than using our outsides,” explained Kootstra. “We rely heavily on our outsides, our middles are doing a very good job, we just don’t go to them as often as we like. But this time we got everybody involved in the play.”
Krysten Rose had seven kills, while Kylee Irwin-Paz and Brooke Silva each had six. Also contributing kills were Nicole Sarkozy and Jaden Scott with five apiece. Laugero had six aces, nine digs and 28 assists, with Maddie Nicholas registering 17 digs.
Wednesday against Hughson, it was another win, sweeping past the Huskies by a final of 25-12, 25-15, 25-19.
“Hughson is much improved, which is nice, we got some competition,” Kootstra said of being pushed by the Lady Huskies. “The scores weren’t super close but I think that was more of a reflection of how our girls played. Hughson plays good defense and we sometimes have trouble putting the ball away.”
Kootstra said she gave her team a goal of keeping Hughson under 15 points per game in this meeting, since the Lady Cougars had a tough time putting them away in their first league match.
Silva had a solid night with 15 kills and five aces, Laugero had 27 assists and 11 digs, with two blocks from Reily Rocha.
Escalon’s varsity girls are now 22-8 overall and look to close out the regular season with some solid play. They were scheduled to host Ripon on Monday and recognize the senior players on Senior Night, and will be at Hilmar on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
“If we win both we would be in a tie for first in TVL,” Kootstra said. “I feel like we are going to dictate our fate here, if we execute well we can beat both these teams.”
In a busy week for the junior varsity squad, they took down a trio of opponents, getting past Riverbank 2-1 on Oct. 20, besting Mountain House 2-0 on Oct. 21 and topping Hughson on Oct. 22. The back-to-back-to-back contests tested the young JV squad, but they were able to craft the victories on the court. They look to close out a successful campaign with a road game at Hilmar on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
“We had a small hiccup in our groove this past week and I’m proud of them to work through it and pull out another winning week,” freshman head coach Krystal Rodriguez said of her young squad. “They showed up and did their job. It’s a total mental game and you have to stay focused and they do a good job keeping that focus.”
For the week, the frosh girls took down Mountain House 25-7, 25-12 and then defeated Hughson at home, 25-5, 25-11. Against Mountain House, the girls combined for 14 kills, 18 aces, 10 assists and nine digs. They recorded 10 kills, 17 aces seven assists and six digs in the win over Hughson.