Escalon’s JV volleyball girls ended up in a three-way tie atop the standing in the Trans-Valley League, sharing the title with Hilmar and Ripon. It took a pair of victories in their final two games to achieve the feat, and JV coach Krystal Rodriguez said she couldn’t have been happier for or prouder of the girls.
“The season has come and gone with the blink of an eye,” Rodriguez noted. “We had such a rocky start in our preseason and to come out on top the way we did was monumental. It took some team bonding and reminding of who we are and how truly dynamic this team is.”
At Hughson, the JV girls pulled out the win in two, 25-17, 25-16.
“With the end of the season on the horizon we knew we needed to give our last two games all we had,” Rodriguez said. “Brielle Arauza served 14 points with five aces. She shared assists with Peyton Arnold, notching in five each. Hannah Murphy played great defense and led us with five digs.”
Hosting rival Hilmar in the season finale on Nov. 2, it was a game with major implications for the standings.
“We came in knowing we had to win. It was either win and be TVL co-champs with Ripon and Hilmar or lose and take third,” said Rodriguez. “With us being TVL champs last year, and Hilmar having such a good team this year, we knew we had to show up and do our job. I asked them to do one thing and that was to produce on the court what we’ve practiced for so long.”
The team responded and, after falling in the opener 24-26, didn’t panic but made the plays they had to in winning the next two, 25-23, 15-10.
“Tiana Lopez did her job as Libero and had a great defensive game having 11 digs. Kaitlyn Herrera had an amazing offensive game pulling in eight kills in 16 attempts,” noted Rodriguez. “Dalsin Alves played her best net game with four solo blocks.”
Brielle Arauza was a “machine” for the JV girls, the coach said, while she and Hannah Murphy did an amazing job as captains and helped carry their team to victory. Amanda Salvador played a great offensive game both days and continued to always be a great supporter and gave the girls hope within her team inspirational huddles, Rodriguez added.
Victoria Warsing continued to always improve in all positions and did well each time she got on the court, while Brianna Martins saw time at middle back and she strived to always be better than the match before.
“They gave it all they had and it was exhilarating to watch them succeed,” Rodriguez said of her JV squad. “I’ve been with these girls for a few years now and they’re an amazing group …they’re my dream team.
“This is a great team with a lot of growing potential. I wish them all the best in their future.”
The JV girls went 10-7 overall and were 8-2 in league play.
Escalon’s youngest volleyball players took the court for their final two matches and battled in hard fought losses against both Hughson and Hilmar.
At Hughson, they won the opener 25-14 but then saw the host team come back in the next two, losing 19-25, 12-15.
They hosted Hilmar in the finale, losing the first game 24-26, winning the second 25-18 and then falling in a tough deciding game, 13-15.
“In league we finished with just two losses, our last two games,” coach Kayla Evans said, with the team also notching eight wins.
The last two games came at the end of a long season.
“I was really proud of our girls, they took second in the Oakdale Tournament and third in the Stockton Classic Tournament,” Evans pointed out. “They really had a great year, I think they just got tired and worn out the last couple of weeks but they all improved during the season and did really well.”