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Semifinal Round Exit For Varsity Volleyball
Award winners for the varsity volleyball squad recognized at the Nov. 20 sports awards night were, in front from left, Kylee Irwin-Paz, All TVL; AnnaLena Simpson, Most Improved; Brooke Silva, TVL Honorable Mention. Back row from left, Sierra Gonzalez, Most Inspirational; Savannah Guerra, MVP Defense, All TVL; Krysten Rose, Coaches Award, All TVL; Taylor Laugero, Most Inspirational, All TVL; Cassidy Caton, MVP, All TVL; Maddie Nicholas, TVL Honorable Mention. Marg Jackson/The Times

Escalon’s varsity volleyball season came to an end on the road in action Tuesday night, Nov. 19.

The girls, second place in the Trans-Valley League behind unbeaten Hilmar, took a 3-0 loss to Sonora in the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.

“Let me start off by saying I am very proud of all of my players,” said head coach Teresa Williamson. “They all have a lot of heart and drive for this game.”

It was that combination of heart and drive, coupled with some outstanding talent, that got Escalon past Mariposa and Calaveras in the opening and quarterfinal rounds. Sonora, however, was hitting its stride when they welcomed Escalon to town and took the contest in three straight. Escalon fell 14-25, 12-25 and 10-25 and Sonora would go on to defeat Hilmar in the Section title game on Nov. 21.

“I know the scores don’t necessarily show it but these girls played hard,” Williamson said of her troops. “They never gave up.”

Leaders on the court were Taylor Laugero with 13 assists, Cassidy Caton with 10 kills and 14 digs, Kylee Irwin-Paz with six kills and two blocks.

“As for next year, we are losing two players, really three with my exchange student, but we are gaining some talent from the JV team, I am looking forward to these girls filling the empty spots,” Williamson said.

Seniors Cassidy Caton and Sierra Gonzalez will leave the team and foreign exchange student AnnaLena Simson is also only with the team for this season.

JV coach Stephanie Williamson had a lot of talent on the JV team, and nine of the 12 girls have to move up next year.

That means there will be competition for the spots, as not everyone can be kept for the squad.

“That is going to be exciting but tough because I cannot keep 19 players,” said Williamson. “I had five girls make All-League and four of them are returning, and two made Honorable Mention.

“I have a lot of expectations for all my returning players and the nine girls that will be coming out for varsity.”