A slow start in both league matches this week for Escalon’s varsity volleyball girls luckily didn’t come back to haunt them. The squad recorded wins over Mountain House and Modesto Christian, taking down each opponent in straight sets.
Against Mountain House on Sept. 19, the Lady Cougars were 27-25, 25-19 and 25-13 winners against the Lady Mustangs.
“The girls had a very slow start. They finally got focused and won in three,” said head coach Teresa Williamson. “Meadow Naraghi and Madisyn Widmer had three aces each; Melanie Smith had nine kills and Kaitlyn Herrera and Hannah Murphy each had seven.”
Leading the way in digs in the contest was Tiana Lopez with 14 while Brielle Arauza contributed 14 assists and Hunter Wheeler added 12. Murphy also had two blocks.
Thursday, traveling to Modesto Christian, the varsity squad again took a 3-0 win. This time, scores were 25-15, 25-16, 25-5.
“We again started slow but finished strong,” said Williamson. “We were missing Kaitlyn Herrera. Leila Phillips stepped it up in the outside hitter position with six kills, five digs and one block.”
Tess Cosby had 15 digs, Lopez had 14 and two Lady Cougars were also in double digits in assists, Wheeler with 15, Arauza with 13.
Smith again paced the team in kills with 10; Murphy and Peyton Arnold had eight kills apiece. Smith added two blocks and Murphy served up three aces.
“Thanks to our amazing fans for their support,” Williamson said.
The coach added she was glad the two wins went on the books but the team knows this week will have to see a better effort against a couple of very tough opponents. They were slated to host Hughson on Tuesday, after The Times went to press and travel to Hilmar on Thursday, Sept. 28.
Tuesday’s win against Mountain House was a little tougher to nail down that Escalon’s JV volleyball girls thought it would be. They did win in three, 25-22, 19-25, 15-13.
“I feel the girls went out underestimating them and thinking we would walk out with an easy win,” said coach Krystal Rodriguez. “Because of that they ended up beating themselves up with their own errors. Not to take anything away from Mountain House, their teams are definitely improving.”
On Thursday the girls were on the road and won in two, 25-17, 25-11 at Modesto Christian.
“It was nice to play the extra league game this year, Modesto Christian doesn’t always have a team we can play, its usually only varsity,” Rodriguez noted. “The girls are getting better and better at controlling their game and if they can keep communicating they’re going to keep being successful.”
Winners of a scrimmage at Waterford late in the week, the Escalon freshman girls also played in the Stockton Classic Tournament on Saturday, bringing home some hardware.
On Thursday, they traveled to Waterford for a non-league scrimmage and came away with a 25-11, 25-13 victory.
“We won our match with amazing serving by the whole team,” said coach Morgan Jensen. “The team had 24 aces in total with Madi Faria leading with seven of them.”
Kailey Costa added two digs, Kalynn Cavanaugh had two kills, Madelyn Page added four assists. Cavanaugh, Mya Scott, and Cesi Rodriguez each had one block.
In weekend tournament play, the girls won the consolation bracket at the Stockton tourney, giving them ninth place overall and a plaque to bring home.
“We lost our first match, 13-25, 17-25 to Los Banos,” said Jensen. “Our second match against Lathrop we won 25-17, 25-23.”
In the third match, the young Lady Cougars defeated Tokay in three, 21-25, 25-18, 15-10. They also won their final match of the day, against Beyer, 25-9, 25-13.
“We played great after waking up after our first match,” Jensen said. “They were serving great, running great plays and were all just glowing with love for the game and a lot of positive energy.”