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Sophomore Murphy Makes PrepVolleyball Soph79 List
Going up to send the ball back over the net with authority is Escalon’s Mandy Murphy, 19, in action this past season on the home court. She was recently selected as one of the top 79 sophomore volleyball players in the nation. Times File Photo

Escalon High School sophomore Amanda ‘Mandy’ Murphy was one of two local athletes selected to PrepVolleyball’s Soph79 list. She served as a team captain this year and was a major force in helping the Lady Cougars secure their first ever Sac-Joaquin Section volleyball title.

EHS head coach Teresa Williamson noted that Murphy and fellow sophomore Abby Castillon, who plays for Central Catholic, were the local athletes tapped for the national recognition.

“In a nutshell, PrepVolleyball is the industry leader in tracking and reporting of Girls Volleyball in the U.S., and the Soph79 is their list of the top 79 sophomores in the country based on their 2019 school volleyball season,” explained Williamson. “Both girls are amazing student-athletes and even better human beings. Even though we would not be in our high school volleyball season at the moment, we would technically be in the middle of travel volleyball season, and I feel that both girls deserve recognition for such an amazing honor.”

Murphy comes in at 5-11 and serves as an outside hitter for EHS. She was selected as a First Team All-State player by Cal-Hi Sports for both Small Schools and Sophomores. She totaled 483 kills during the season, which was tops in the Trans-Valley League and second in the Sac-Joaquin Section. It also was the third highest kills total of all sophomores in California. The Lady Cougars had an incredible 2019 season, going 31-10 and taking down Union Mine in a 3-2 battle in the Section finals, bringing home the Division 4 title in early November. Murphy had 29 kills, two aces and 10 digs in the championship match. The girls also made it to the state’s CIF Division 4 regional semifinals. A second year varsity player as a sophomore, Murphy was a team captain and earned team MVP honors for her contributions on the court and leadership throughout the campaign. She was a first team All-TVL selection as well.

Abby Castillon, a 5-10 outside hitter for Central Catholic in Modesto was named First Team All-League and helped the Lady Raiders win a Sac-Joaquin Section title in Division 3. The team also reached the state semifinals in Division II; Castillon led her team in both kills and digs.

“Mandy and Abby play for Rage Volleyball Club on the 16’s team,” Williamson added. “They both are all around players.”