Getting in to the groove as they wind their way through the Trans-Valley League schedule, Escalon volleyball teams put together a nice string of victories this past week.
The varsity girls, under head coach Kayla Kootstra, swept Hughson on Monday, 25-18, 25-18 and 25-20, then outlasted Ripon in a five-game match on Wednesday.
Against Hughson, Kylee Irwin-Paz and Brooke Silva had nine kills each while Taylor Laugero had 28 assists and 10 digs. Maddie Nicholas had 19 digs and Jaden Scott added two blocks in a solid all around team effort.
“We were pretty much in control but they’re a much improved team,” Kootstra said of Hughson. “The girls did a good job of finishing it out, winning it in three.”
Then it was off to rival Ripon, the Lady Cougars outlasting the Indians in a marathon match, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 17-25, 15-11.
“We were up 19-10 in game one and let them come back, I think that big run helped them take the momentum,” Kootstra said of hanging on in game one but losing game two. “Game three we won fairly easily and game four we came out flat, we looked like a team that had gotten complacent.”
The girls were able to gather themselves up and get the win in the deciding game five.
“Ripon is a good team,” noted Kootstra. “But we knew what we needed to do.”
Silva paced the team with 14 kills and 15 digs on the night.
“That was a nice double double,” Kootstra said.
Laugero dished out 31 assists, Nicholas had 18 digs and Irwin-Paz had 16 digs.
The girls will be home to host Modesto Christian today, Oct. 15.
Monday the JV girls took the court to play Hughson and won in two, 25-13 and 25-14.
“Wednesday was Ripon and we lost in the third game,” coach Tanya Fry said of taking the 2-1 loss. “Scores were 25-19, 25-27, 13-15.”
In the Wednesday game against Ripon, leaders were Sidney Saunders with seven kills, Natalie Bianchi with 13 digs, and Cydney Keener with 19 assists.
They will also play Modesto Christian on Wednesday.
For the youngest Cougar girls, it was a busy week with wins against Ripon and Hughson, beating them both in two games, and then traveling on Saturday to the Oakdale Invitational, where they came away with the championship.
“It was very, very exciting,” said coach Krystal Rodriguez. “We played four teams, won everything in two, which is saying a lot, at the freshman level you expect a roller coaster.”
Steady play saw the frosh girls take down Calaveras, Kimball and Central Valley, then nail down the championship with a victory over Tracy.
“The final score was 30-28 in the championship game,” Rodriguez said. “I’m very excited about this team, the growth I have seen in two months is amazing.”
Rodriguez noted standout efforts for the week from Brielle Aravea, serving and setting; server and left side hitter Amanda Salvador; left side hitter Dalsin Alves and middle back Victoria Warsing, who came up with some key digs.
“I lost her, probably for the season, she rolled an ankle this weekend,” Rodriguez said of Warsing, the only down side of an otherwise fantastic week.
The frosh girls will host Ripon Christian on Wednesday, as MC doesn’t have a freshman team.