Non-league and Trans-Valley League play were both on the schedule for the Lady Cougars this week as the squads kept up a hectic pace.
The varsity girls got wins against both Downey in non-league action and league rival Hilmar.
“We played a little flat on Tuesday against Downey, however, we pulled out a win in four,” said head coach Teresa Williamson. “The girls regrouped and played well (Wednesday) and took Hilmar down in three.”
Scores against Downey were 25-9; 23-25; 25-14; 25-18.
Rylie Lattig was once again all over the court, notching eight aces, four kills, 38 assists and 16 digs, while Emily Vickers had 16 kills and nine digs.
Also putting together solid efforts were Gianna Bava with two aces, 10 kills, one block, and four digs; Lisa Murga had eight kills, six blocks; Faye Hernandez added three aces and 12 digs; Macie Vickers had 10 digs.
Hosting Hilmar on Sept. 28, the team was solid and swept the visiting Lady Yellowjackets, though the visitors made them work. Scores were 25-13; 25-20; 25-11.
Team captain Lattig had two aces, 29 assists, and six digs while fellow captain Emily Vickers had three aces, eight kills, eight digs, and one block; Bava added seven kills, and one block in a strong performance.
Carsyn Hood and Sophia Martin added five kills each; Lisa Murga had three blocks; Hernandez recorded eight digs and four aces and Macie Vickers had eight digs.
Escalon continues its high level of overall play, maintaining its hold on first place in the Trans-Valley League.
A contest with Downey on Sept. 26 saw some solid efforts from the JV girls. Chloe Fraser had six kills and two aces. Madyson Herrera had four kills and “really stepped up in serve receive for us,” said head coach Shay Beam.
She added that facing Downey was a good way for the girls to get ready for their league battle with Hilmar later in the week. Ashlee Conde had three kills and freshmen Marina Franzia and Marissa Terry had two aces apiece.
“Wednesday we played Hilmar, even though we beat them fairly easily in two last time we played them, I knew they were a better team than we faced before,” Beam noted. “We had a good start, winning the game by two or so points for half the game. In the end we fell apparat and started making too many errors, we lost 16-25.”
A little downcast after taking the opening set loss, Beam said her team had to get past it and move on.
“It was a tough set, we looked defeated but I have faith and confidence in my girls and we had to change our tune,” she explained. “Second game we came out stronger and started fighting and playing hard from the start.”
The end result was a 25-20 win for Escalon, pushing the match to three sets.
“Game three is a set to 15 and we have a tendency to start slow and dig ourselves a hole. We refused and had a big jump from the start. We clinched game three, 15-9.”
The 2-1 win over Hilmar, said the coach, provided a good opportunity to focus and prepare for a rematch with Ripon later this season.
“It was a great and fun match,” Beam said.
Her standouts in this contest were Madyson Herrera with two aces, four kills and five digs; setter Karisa McNeil with 13 assists, three kills and five digs; libero Riley Ogilvie added five digs and seven kills came from outside hitter Chloe Fraser.
It was a come-from-behind win for the youngest Lady Cougars against Downey to open the week. They did take the first set, starting off strong with minimal errors and winning 25-13.
“By game two we dug ourselves a hole and made a lot of mistakes, putting the score at 14-22,” explained head coach Morgan Gomez. “During my last time out I told them that I believed they could flip a switch and take back their control of the game, but they had to really dig deep, focus, and play as a team and minimize our errors.”
The team did exactly that, Gomez said, with the game-winning points coming on three straight aces from middle hitter Rylee Peavy.
“That was a pivotal moment for our entire team’s confidence,” said Gomez. “These girls know I believe in them, but it was great watching them flip that switch and believe in each other even when they were down.”
Hosting Hilmar in TVL action, it was a straight sets win for the frosh girls on Wednesday, 25-16, 25-19.
Madison Babasa had four kills, Chloe Green had four kills as well and Lesley Cardenas notched three aces.
The freshmen were back on the court Saturday for tournament action on the road at Orestimba High School and topped Stone Ridge 25-16, 25-21 and Beyer 25-15, 25-17 in morning pool play. The afternoon bracket action started off with a loss to Modesto High in three, 25-21, 24-26, 7-15, which put them in the third place game. There, they battled Stone Ridge again and came away with the win, securing the third place honors.
“I’m very impressed and proud of this team. We were missing a starting defensive player for this tournament and the whole team truly stepped up and filled it seamlessly,” noted Gomez. “It was an amazing opportunity for players to play different positions and gain more confidence in their skills. Spirits were high the whole day and at the end of the day we got third place and had fun the whole day. Awesome day.”