In a week where they only had one game, the varsity Escalon Lady Cougars made the most of it, defeating Riverbank in the Trans-Valley League opener for both squads on Wednesday, Oct. 1.
“We won in three, 25-8, 25-15 and 25-16,” said coach Kayla Kootstra.
It was a home game for Escalon and they took care of business, paced by 11 kills from Brooke Silva and 36 assists from Taylor Laugero. Maddie Nicholas added 14 digs.
Several players contributed with a block or an ace, said Kootstra.
“Overall we played really well, I was happy with it,” the coach added. “I felt like we came together as a team, played really well, and I was able to get everybody on my team in, which is always nice.”
For the lower level squads, they each had two games, as they took on new TVL team Mountain House on Tuesday. Mountain House, a relatively new school, does not yet field a varsity team.
The JV girls bested both Mountain House and Riverbank, while the Escalon freshmen defeated Mountain House on Tuesday and Orestimba on Wednesday, as Riverbank does not field a freshman team.
“We beat Riverbank in two games, 25-8, 25-22 and also beat Mountain House in two games, 25-15 and 25-17,” said new JV coach Tanya Fry.
The girls followed up the two league victories with a trip to the Golden Valley Tournament on Saturday.
“We also did great at the tournament,” Fry noted.
The squad took first place in their pool, and then lost to Tracy and Buhach Colony in the Gold Division.
Freshman coach Krystal Rodriguez saw her team win a pair and look solid in doing it.
Against Mountain House, the frosh team won 25-12, 25-1.
“Peyton Arnold served 23 straight points,” Rodriguez said of the main feature in the second game.
Orestimba fell to the freshmen, 25-9, 25-17.
“Tiana Lopez, my libero, played very well,” Rodriguez said. “Also Hannah Murphy played good all around defense.”
Arnold and Lopez, the team captains, are known as the ‘Sugar’ and ‘Spice’ of the squad, respectively, said Rodriguez, and are the driving forces on a team with plenty of potential.
“This is going to be a very good team,” the coach added. “A lot of them have played together through school and club.”
The freshmen also came home with a first place plaque in the Silver division from the late September Golden Valley Tournament.
Escalon is back in action this week, they were slated to play at Hughson on Monday, after sports press time for The Times, and will be in Ripon today, Wednesday, Oct. 8.
“We had good practices on Thursday and Friday,” Kootstra said. “We’re looking forward to getting back into the swing of regular games, it will be nice to have consistent play.”
This week’s opponents are probably two of the toughest the team will face in league play, Kootstra noted, so they will have to be ready to go.
“We need to bring our A game,” she said.