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Solid Play Lifts Varsity Netters To Twin Wins
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Maybe their first game loss to West was the wake-up call they needed.

Escalon's varsity volleyball girls put two more matches in the win column this week, topping Summerville and Manteca. The Tuesday win at Manteca marked their third win in a row since dropping the preseason opener and coach Rusty Fachner likes the trend he is seeing.

"The very first match of the year, the kids didn't play well, I didn't coach well," he explained. "But since then, against Oakdale, Summerville and Manteca, we haven't given up more than 20 points in a game."

Monday, the varsity girls were home against Summerville and took the win, 25-18, 25-13, 25-19.

"We're starting to play well, starting to feel comfortable and that's big for this group," explained Fachner.

Leading the team in both matches against the non-league foes was Chelsea Fachner, hitting her stride in the middle blocker position.

In the win over Summerville at home, Fachner had eight kills, 13 digs, three aces, 10 service points and four blocks. She followed that up on the road at Manteca with eight kills, four blocks, five aces and 11 digs.

"She's just playing out of her mind, giving us an all around effort," said the coach. "We moved her back to the middle, that's where she's played all her life and she's comfortable there, she sets the tone for us."

Escalon dispatched the host Manteca squad in three on Tuesday, 25-11, 25-14, 25-17.

"Jenna Martin has been terrific for us," Fachner added. "We got tremendous stuff from Melissa Nickas last year, that's what we're getting from Jenna this year, she's digging balls, passing balls, doing great things."

Also stepping up her level of play so far this season is Emily McCants.

"She's getting five or six kills per match," said Fachner. "She's playing with a real level of consistency and she deserves a lot of credit.

"She has set the bar now, she has set a level that we know she can play at."

Setters Steph Williamson and Michele Barajas have continued their dominance, with high marks for the week also going to Sandi French and Michelle Williams.

"Stephanie Williamson has just been incredible setting the ball, she sets the offense," Fachner explained. "It's a credit to her and Michele Barajas that they don't get noticed a lot.

"With good setting, you're looking at the kills."

French has improved her game with a move to the right front and Williams has come on strong in both serving and defense.

The girls improved to 3-1 in preseason action with the twin wins. They were slated to play at Turlock on Tuesday, after The Times went to press. They host Orestimba in a 6:30 p.m. contest tonight, Sept. 8.