Competition in the Foundation Game started the week for Escalon’s varsity Lady Cougars on the volleyball court, then they took on Tracy in non-league play.
The Foundation Game, featuring just the varsity team, was played in Escalon on Monday night, Aug. 28. It was a battle, as Escalon took on Calaveras and the teams played the full five games, Escalon ultimately winning 3-2.
Scores were 20-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20, 15-13.
“We were down 0-2 and fought back and won 3-2,” said head coach Teresa Williamson. “These girls showed heart and determination. Each and every one of them contributed to the win; I was so very proud of them.”
Leaders were Brielle Arauza with 33 assists and four aces; Tess Cosby with 24 digs; Hannah Murphy with 10 kills; Peyton Arnold with eight kills; Melanie Smith with three blocks.
Thursday night, Escalon welcomed in Tracy and ran into a bit of a buzz saw, falling 3-0 with scores of 22-25, 15-25, 7-25.
Arauza had 17 assists on the night while Kaitlyn Herrera had eight kills and Tiana Lopez had 18 digs. Cosby and Murphy had two aces each, while Murphy and Smith each notched one block as well.
“Tracy was a very good team, however, the girls didn’t play to their ability,” said Williamson. “We started off strong but just couldn’t keep our momentum. The girls were disappointed overall but we know what we need to work on and are ready to move forward. They are very determined and hard-working; we will bounce back from this loss.”
Falling in two games to visiting Tracy, the Thursday night volleyball contest didn’t quite go the way Escalon’s JV girls were hoping.
“We had a tough opener to our preseason. Tracy is a good team with all around skill,” said coach Krystal Rodriguez. “We worked on our defense a lot last week so we were okay there, but we just couldn’t put a ball away. Their defense was ready for us.”
Escalon fell in the first game, 10-25 but battled back to push Tracy in the second before ultimately taking a 24-26 loss.
“I’m working on a lot of different options this year with the skills we have, and running different line ups so we can find out what works best for the team,” Rodriguez added. “They’re learning a lot and working hard.”
The coach noted that many of the girls have shown great improvement since first playing the game last year as freshmen and those with experience have continued to keep pushing hard as well.
“These girls have a lot of heart and as long as they can keep their heads held high and don’t give up, they’re going to be a successful team,” said Rodriguez.
And despite falling to Tracy, Rodriguez said there were some positives out of the contest.
“Our second game was much better,” she noted. “They got the butterflies out and fought really hard.”
The youngest Lady Cougars played to victory against Tracy on Thursday night in Escalon, taking the match in two, 25-13, 25-17.
“Madison Faria led in kills with four, Madelyn Page led in assists with eight,” said coach Morgan Jensen. “Gena Lizbeth Cortes not only led in aces with five, but also had a solo block.”
The girls found a good rhythm early against the visitors and maintained solid pressure.
“It has been great watching them learn new things and to play together as a team during practice,” added Jensen. “Finally seeing everything come together to get the win was just icing on the cake. I’m excited to see these girls grow in all aspects of the game.”