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Twin Wins Kick Off League Slate For Varsity Volleyball Girls
Although the week didn't start out quite the way they wanted, it ended on a high note for Escalon's varsity Lady Cougars on the volleyball court.

The girls opened up Trans-Valley League play this week with an exciting win in a match with rival Ripon Christian, then traveled to Hughson and put away the Huskies.

They started out, however, with a loss to St. Mary's of Stockton in the non-league finale on Monday. The girls battled the tough Division I squad but lost in a three-game set. The loss was valuable in that it helped them fine tune some things prior to the league opener, where they faced off with Ripon Christian, expected to be among the top teams in the TVL.

"We played very well together, the girls obviously came focused," coach Teresa Williamson said of defeating the visiting Knights in three, 25-16, 25-16, 25-22. "They played as a team."

Katie Aprile and Kaitlyn Brayton each had four aces in the Tuesday, Sept. 16 contest, and each contributed nine digs. Aprile added 15 assists, Brayton notched 14 kills and Rachel Leal did some solid work at the net, coming away with three blocks.

Ripon Christian couldn't seem to adjust to Escalon's quickness on the court and though it was expected to be a back-and-forth match, the host Lady Cougars were definitely the better team in the opener.

"I know Ripon Christian didn't play their best but I don't want to take anything away from my girls," Williamson said. "They played great."

And despite a brief letdown that kept game three a close one, Williamson said the squad did what was necessary to take the game and put the match in the win column.

Thursday, they went on the road and got past Hughson, 25-15, 25-21, 25-16.

"We had a few service errors but the girls pulled out the win," Williamson said.

Brayton had three aces, Aprile had eight kills and 10 assists, and Lindsey Anderson was all over the court with 13 digs.

"We got kind of a slow start," Williamson added of playing their third match in four nights, but said she was pleased to see the girls rally for the victory.

They were slated to play at Riverbank on Tuesday, after The Times went to press and are scheduled to host Modesto Christian in a 6:30 p.m. contest Thursday, Sept. 25. Ripon will come to town for a crucial early season match on Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m.