A split of their Trans-Valley League games this week saw Escalon’s varsity volleyball girls defeat Riverbank but fall to Ripon.
Against Riverbank, it was a 3-0 decision, 25-14, 25-9, 25-10. Tess Cosby had 13 digs and six aces on the night to lead the team, while a trio of Lady Cougars combined for 33 kills. Melanie Smith had 15, Mandy Murphy added 10 and Emily Vickers had eight. Smith had four blocks while Murphy had three.
Hannah Boyd racked up 19 assists.
Hosting Ripon on Oct. 16, the Lady Cougars came up short in a 3-1 loss. After falling 13-25 in the opener, they battled back to even it up, taking a 25-22 decision in the second set. The competition featured several long volleys and hard-earned points for both sides, giving the packed house at the EHS gym a contest to remember.
Still fighting, Escalon just couldn’t quite take down the Lady Indians, falling in the next two, 23-25, 17-25.
Boyd had a strong night with 29 assists and three aces while Murphy had 12 kills, Smith nine and Vickers eight. Elise Gonzales had two blocks, Cosby added 12 digs.
Opening up their week at Riverbank on Oct. 14, it was a 25-8, 25-19 decision for the JV Lady Cougars on the road.
“From my experience with them last year, their defense tends to get better and better each year,” coach Krystal Rodriguez said of Riverbank. “After winning set one, we played with a new lineup. In the beginning of set two we struggled a little bit but once they got the hang of it they played their game.”
Valeria Gonzalez had seven aces Haylee Barajas had seven digs and Matty Bollen added five. Marissa Silva notched six kills and Grace Ferreira had one block.
“Joslyn Mangnuson and Julia Warsing went in for our liberos and played their hearts out,” said Rodriguez.
Ripon came to town on Wednesday and stole away with a 2-1 win over the host Lady Cougars.
Scores were 25-19, 20-25, 12-15.
“What a match! I was proud of the girls and how hard they fought for this game,” admitted Rodriguez. “Walking in with their heads high with confidence, pride for the team and school and full of drive to play the game they wanted so badly to win, I was very happy with what they put out there on the court.”
Ferreira had five kills on the night and Madison Hagglund hit the ball very well, while Silva, Gonzalez and Barajas all had one block apiece.
“Haylee Barajas set very good and kept her front row going,” said Rodriguez.
Bollen had three aces, Ferreira and Emily Middleton were noted for their great defense and Sabrina Villa had six digs.
“Our offense and defense both played crucial parts and played to the best of their ability,” Rodriguez added. “It was the best they’ve played as a team.
The youngest Lady Cougars earned a 25-12, 25-11 win at Riverbank, paced by Kelsey Webster with seven digs and Gianna Bava with five kills.
“It was a good game of volleyball where the team remained focused and finished with the win,” said coach Nicole Bianchi.
Wednesday, on the home court, the frosh girls fell to Ripon by a 2-1 decision.
“This was a very difficult loss,” Bianchi said.
Scores were 12-25, 25-21, 14-16.
“In the third set, we were up 8-2 at one point and got stuck in a rotation allowing Ripon to come back,” Bianchi explained. “With two starting players out with injuries, we had players competing in positions they haven’t played in all season, just trying to fill the gaps. In the end I thought the team played hard and I am very proud of them.”