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Pair Of Wins For Varsity Volleyball
Improving to 4-0 in league play with a pair of wins this week, Escalon's varsity volleyball girls were winners at home and on the road.

They were on the road first, making the short trip to Riverbank for a Tuesday night contest, Sept. 23.

"We swept them in three," said coach Teresa Williamson, noting that her girls were not seriously challenged by the host Bruins in the 3-0 match.

They were also winners at home on Thursday night, handling Modesto Christian with scores of 25-14, 25-20, 25-14 in the three-game set.

After getting out to a solid start in the first game, the Lady Cougars seemed to get a little out of sync in game two, with some balls uncharacteristically falling in when teammates didn't communicate effectively.

"I think we let our guard down and let them in the game," Williamson said of the closer score in the second game. "I called a time out and after that we got it together."

Though the visiting Crusaders made game two a close one, they couldn't keep up the pace in game three, with the host Lady Cougars taking control once again.

"They're not a bad team," Williamson said of MC, "they just struggled a bit."

Kaitlyn Brayton had 13 kills on the night to lead the varsity girls, while teammate Amanda Franklin had 13 assists. Kristi Rigg came away with two blocks, Lindsey Anderson added two digs and two aces in the win.

The varsity girls improved to 14-3 overall with the pair of victories. Brayton, Katie Aprile and Anderson got high praise from their coach for their work throughout the week and the girls also got in some extra work by taking part in the Saturday Oakdale Invitational.

"It's a very different format, in pool play you go two games to 25," Williamson said. "In bracket play, it's one game."

In their pool, the Lady Cougars split matches with Pitman and Modesto and defeated Summerville. In bracket play, they beat Davis in the first round, 25-12, then faced off with host Oakdale. The girls lost in a close match to the Mustangs, 25-19.

The tournament play was good, though, in that the team got to work on several aspects of their game that they need to improve to stay at the top of the standings as league play enters its second round.

They were scheduled to host Ripon Christian in the final game of the first round on Tuesday night, after The Times went to press.

"That will be the end of the first round, then Thursday we again have Ripon Christian, over there, so this will be a very tough week for us," Williamson said. "We'll be focusing on defense, setting up our blocks, we'll try to get them prepared mentally."

With it being Homecoming week at the school as well, there are plenty of distractions but Williamson said she's hopeful her team can focus on the task at hand when they take the court.