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Winning Week Of Play For Volleyball Squads
Hannah Murphy gets ready to send off a serve in action on the home court earlier this season. Escalon took down both Modesto Christian and Hughson in TVL play this week. Marg Jackson/The Times

Notching two wins in Trans-Valley League play this week, Escalon’s varsity girls defeated Modesto Christian and Hughson.

They were at Modesto Christian for a Tuesday, Oct. 18 contest and got the win in three, 25-20, 25-22, 25-10.

“Jaden Scott had nine kills, Hannah Murphy had eight,” said head coach Teresa Williamson. “Tiana Lopez had 16 digs.”

Hannah Murphy added three blocks, Brielle Arauza piled up 26 assists and Kaitlyn Herrera had four aces in an all-around solid effort by the girls.

Then it was home to host Hughson in a game that saw the Lady Cougars go in without their normal libero, Natalie Bianchi, out due to traveling for the FFA National Convention in Indiana.

Filling in for her was Lopez.

“She played amazing,” Williamson said. “These girls are really playing well. They are really communicating on the court. We had a few bumps during the Hughson game but they pulled it together and won in game five.”

Scores were 25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 19-25, 15-7.

Arauza had an incredible 50 assists for the Lady Cougars while Lopez had 26 digs from the libero position. Scott was in double figures with 23 kills in the five game marathon match and Murphy had six blocks.

The girls were slated to close out the TVL season on the road at Hilmar on Tuesday, Oct. 25 after The Times went to press. They headed into the finale with an 8-3 mark in league play.

Williamson said she should know this week whether the team will get to host a playoff game or be on the road.

“This team has so much heart and fight it is fun to watch them,” the coach said.



With a bye on Tuesday because Modesto Christian doesn’t have a JV team, the Escalon girls made the most of their one match for the week. They defeated Hughson at home on Thursday, 27-25, 25-21.

“We did win in two, which is a huge accomplishment on its own,” noted coach Krystal Rodriguez of her team. “It says a lot about their growing willpower and not letting up.”

With the win, the Escalon JV girls are sharing third place with Hughson.

“Watching the girls fight and play their ball against Hughson was so refreshing. Something clicked for them and their ball flow was so smooth,” Rodriguez explained. “Their communication just keeps getting better each game. I’m so proud of how far we’ve come and how hard they work together. They all truly have a lot of heart and are great girls.”



Two matches this week for the youngest Lady Cougars both went in the win column, as they topped Waterford and Hughson.

“We won 25-18, 25-11 against non-league opponent Waterford,” coach Morgan Jensen said of the Tuesday match. “Melanie Smith led in kills with six, Camryn Rodenburg had 10 aces and seven digs. Natalie Cortes had eight assists.”

Then they were back on the court Thursday, kicking off what turned out to be a trio of victories against Hughson.

“It was an awesome win against Hughson on Thursday,” Jensen said of the 25-21, 30-28 final. “They fought so hard for every point, it was absolutely breathtaking.”

Smith paced the team with four kills and 12 digs, Cortes had six assists and Rodenburg, at libero, had four aces and 10 digs.

“It’s just amazing to see how far these girls have come in just these short couple of months and to have our last home game be such a great win was just icing on the cake,” said Jensen. “I’m so proud of them all.”