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Ripon Outlasts Lady Cougars To Go Undefeated In TVL
They got the first game, but Ripon then rolled off three straight, taking a 3-1 win off the volleyball court from Escalon in action Tuesday night.

Hosting the Indians in the regular season finale of Trans-Valley League play, the varsity Lady Cougars won game one 26-24 and battled to a 19-25 loss in game two. Ripon seized the momentum and won the next two, 10-25, 15-25, to complete a perfect 15-0 run in the TVL. Escalon finished at 10-5, third place behind Ripon and Ripon Christian.

"We really did play good volleyball," coach Teresa Williamson said of the effort on Nov. 4. "We played really good in games one and two, and I think they got exhausted, but they never let down, ever."

Energized by the win in game one, the Lady Cougars tried to capitalize but found the Ripon bench too deep, the team too multi-talented to take down. It wasn't for lack of trying.

"We still fought in game two," Williamson agreed. "Not to take anything away from Ripon, because they are a very good team, but as a team, my girls were all in it, they battled all the time."

Lindsey Anderson had 24 digs and two aces on the night. Kaitlyn Brayton had 19 kills and put up three blocks, with Katie Aprile notching 24 assists.

Ripon is the one team Escalon could never defeat in league play and they weren't alone. No other team could solve them, either, as the Lady Indians cruised through the TVL campaign without a loss. Ripon Christian went 11-4, taking two out of three from Escalon to finish ahead of the Lady Cougars in the standings.

Escalon did qualify for the playoffs and were slated to travel to Hilmar for a game on Tuesday, Nov. 11, after The Times went to press. The first round game had Hilmar, the top team in the Western Athletic Conference and fifth seed overall, hosting the 12th seeded Lady Cougars.

"Our league is one of the toughest and we're blessed to make the playoffs," Williamson said of looking toward the second season. "They know there are no easy teams out there and we need good practices, we need to stay focused."

JV players brought up for the playoff run included Shaylynn Beam and Ruth Niu, who both had solid seasons at the JV level. Game time in Hilmar on Tuesday was slated for 7 p.m.

If Escalon won there, they will play Thursday, with semifinals and final round action scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 15.