Closing in on the end of the preseason schedule, the volleyball squads for Escalon were kept busy on the court, doing battle in matches and tournament play.
For the varsity girls, they fell to Valley Oak League powerhouse Oakdale on the road in action Tuesday, Sept. 6 by a 3-0 final. Jaden Scott had nine kills, while Brielle Arauza notched 16 assists and three aces. Natalie Bianchi led the team in digs, and Kaitlyn Herrera had a block.
Then they hosted St. Mary’s on Wednesday and took the same 3-0 loss, but head coach Teresa Williamson reiterated that the team is looking for growth and improvement during the preseason, choosing to schedule tough opponents. Herrera had four kills, Arauza added nine assists. Leading the way in digs was Tiana Lopez with six, while both Herrera and Scott had four aces. Hannah Murphy had four blocks.
“At the Golden Valley Tournament (Friday/Saturday) we went 3-5 and finished second in the Platinum division,” Williamson said. “We did some really good things.”
After traveling for a non-league match at Tokay on Monday, the Lady Cougars were scheduled to host Riverbank in the Trans-Valley League opener on Tuesday, Sept. 13, after The Times went to press.
At Oakdale on Sept. 6, the JV girls took the first game before dropping the next two, losing the match by a 2-1 final. In the opener, they fought to a 26-24 win. Game two was 13-25 and the third and deciding game was a 13-15 final.
“Both teams played very well,” said JV head coach Krystal Rodriguez. “We hosted St. Mary’s next (Wednesday) and knew coming in that this was going to be another tough match up.”
Escalon pushed St. Mary’s to three as well, 25-20, 17-25, 8-15.
“Saturday we went to the Oakdale Tournament where we placed second in the Silver bracket,” noted Rodriguez. “We took our first game to Summerville and lost to West after a two-hour break. Going into Silver bracket we won our first game against Central Valley and lost our last game to Tracy in the final.”
Rodriguez said the tourney might have gone better had the girls not had so much time in between matches. Still, she was pleased with the overall effort.
“The girls played all day and they learned how to fight together as a team in both winning and losing,” Rodriguez said. “We had a very hard week and played some tough teams.”
Falling in two against St. Mary’s on Wednesday, the freshmen lost by scores of 22-25 and 16-25, keeping the games close but not quite able to get past the visitors. Leading in digs was Julia Castillas with 11 and she also paced the team in kills with three. Libero Camryn Rosenberg had nine digs and Suzy Palmerin had an ace.