Getting into a groove as they prepare to start Trans-Valley League play, the varsity volleyball girls at Escalon crafted three victories during the past week.
They started off with a solid effort in the Foundation Game, then won on the road and returned to the home court for another win.
Hosting Calaveras on Monday, Aug. 26 for the annual Foundation Game, they swept to a 3-0 decision with scores of 25-19, 25-18, 25-21.
“Hannah Boyd had 28 assists, Mandy Murphy had 13 kills,” head coach Teresa Williamson noted. “Melanie Smith and Mandy Murphy each had three blocks and Murphy had four aces while Tess Cosby 11 had digs.”
A tough match on the road saw the girls heading to Newman to take on Orestimba in Wednesday night action and again, it was a win in three, shutting out the host Lady Warriors. Escalon took the contest 25-17, 25-15, 25-14.
Pacing the effort were Boyd with 21 assists, Murphy with 12 kills and two blocks, Smith with four aces and two blocks, Emily Vickers with seven digs.
Thursday night, with a supportive crowd in the home stands, the varsity girls took care of business against visiting Linden. They got the 3-0 win and staved off several Linden rallies to win 25-18, 25-19, 25-15.
Familiar names topped the leaderboard, as Boyd notched 22 assists on the night and Murphy came up big with 16 kills. Cosby added 13 digs, Smith had four blocks and Vickers served up three aces.
“The preseason is packed with games. I know they are tired but they are playing some great volleyball right now,” Williamson said of her team. “My girls play with so much heart and intensity it is fun to watch. It is only the beginning of our season and I am so excited to see what is in store for these girls and to watch them blossom as a team.”
On the road, the JV girls crafted a victory against Orestimba on Wednesday, 25-13, 25-13, playing consistent volleyball.
“Joslyn Mangnuson came into the game as a server and in just the right time. She brought us back up from a deficit and put us in the lead with her serves and defense,” said JV head coach Krystal Rodriguez. “Matty Bollen rocked the back row and led in digs, Bella Jaime led in kills at the net and Valeria Gonzalez notched three solo blocks.”
Rodriguez said her team “took the court with confidence and skill” at Orestimba and she was proud of the effort, adding that as young players, they sometimes are focused and sometimes not so much.
“If there’s one thing about JV, they like to keep me on my toes instructing every one of them. This team is constantly working hard and learning every day. Some days they’re a practice team; some days they’re a game team,” Rodriguez explained. “With us being away at Orestimba they were confident, at home with Linden they fell apart.”
The JV girls did fall to Linden, 2-1, on Thursday night with scores of 17-25, 25-12, 7-15.
Grace Ferreira played solid defense in the back row and held top kills in the front row as well against Linden, with Marissa Silva also playing well. Madison Hagglund has mastered a new serve that has been working really well, as she notched the most aces and longest run of serves against Linden. Haylee Barajas worked hard each game as setter. Valeria Gonzalez and Marissa Silva each had a solo block.
“Our captains this year are the same duo as last, Haylee Barajas and Grace Ferreira. I was fortunate enough to have both of these girls on my club team this past season and they’ve grown so much,” Rodriguez noted. “These two ladies have a way with their team that inspires. They’re compassionate, hard-working, supportive and energized. All amazing components that make great leaders; and these girls possess these qualities. In fact this team holds all of those characteristics. It’s nice to be able to work on skills rather than behavioral issues. Amazing things can happen this year if the team continues the path they’re on now.”