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Preseason Busy For Volleyball Girls
Winning two of their first three matches, Escalon's varsity volleyball girls are working hard to be ready for the start of Trans-Valley League play next week.

They defeated Linden on Aug. 28, topped Manteca on Sept. 2, then lost to Oakdale on Sept. 3.

Traveling to Linden for the preseason opener, the girls were 25-23, 25-19, 22-25, 25-16 winners.

"We beat them in four, played solid defense," said coach Teresa Williamson.

Kaitlyn Brayton had 32 digs and 26 kills on the night, Lindsey Anderson had 31 digs, with 26 digs and 35 assists from Katie Aprile, three aces from Amanda Franklin.

Tuesday, Sept. 2, the girls traveled to Manteca and dispatched the host team in quick fashion, 25-19, 25-10, 25-16.

Aprile paced the team with 30 assists, 20 digs, 13 kills and three aces, Anderson had 23 digs and Brayton added 22 kills.

On the road at Oakdale on Sept. 3, the girls lost the first game 23-25, battled to win the second 25-17, then lost 14-25 and 24-26.

"We did battle, Williamson agreed. "We fell apart in game three, Oakdale had the momentum."

The varsity girls regrouped to push Oakdale in game four but the Lady Mustangs held on for the 3-1 victory.

"It was a good match all the way around," Williamson added of her team's performance.

Aprile had 25 digs, Anderson added 22, while Brayton had 16 kills and three aces, Franklin had 31 assists.

This week, the girls will be home to host Orestimba in non-league play on Wednesday, Sept. 10 and play in the Golden Valley Tournament, hosting games at Escalon on Friday and traveling to Merced for Saturday games, Sept. 13.

Trans-Valley League action starts Tuesday, Sept. 16 at home with the Lady Cougars hosting Ripon Christian.

JV action saw the girls having a great week, according to coach Irene Laugero.

Against Manteca, the young Lady Cougars were winners in straight sets, 25-16, 25-18.

"Shaylynn Beam, my freshman setter, served 10 straight points in the first game, five of those being aces," explained Laugero. "She also had three kills and was just a key player."

Hannah Stuyt added four kills, with five kills each from Ruth Niu and Morgan Eisenga.

At Oakdale on Wednesday, the JV girls worked well as a team to pull off a 27-25, 25-20 victory.

"It was a huge, huge game," Laugero said. "They have a lot of club players and I knew we were going to have to show up to win ... we showed up."

Morgan Jensen was given high marks for her all around outstanding play.

"She came in and served fantastic," noted Laugero. "She plays only front row until she serves and she hit really well, served fantastic, she was the momentum."

Kaitlyn Konecny added three kills and one block.

"It was a solo stuff block, straight down, the crowd went crazy," Laugero said, noting that there aren't too many stuff blocks seen at the JV level.

Niu had six kills and Taylor LaRossa played solid defense in both the Manteca and Oakdale matches.

"It was a team effort," added Laugero of the win over Oakdale. "Afterward, I looked at each girl and was able to tell them, 'you were key'... with this team, we're learning how to focus, they have a lot of talent and every single person stepped up."

After a non-league match with Orestimba on Sept. 10, the JV girls are scheduled to be back in Oakdale for the JV Invitational starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13.

The freshman girls, meanwhile, came up short in both matches this week, falling on the road at Manteca and Oakdale.