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Varsity, JV Volleyball Girls Lead League
Strong play continues to carry Escalon's volleyball squads to key Trans-Valley League wins, the varsity and JV squads still leading the TVL standings.

For the varsity girls, wins this week came against Riverbank and Ripon.

Taking on Riverbank to open up the second half of league play on Oct. 9, it was a win in three, 25-10, 25-6, 25-12.

"Taylor Laugero had 12 assists, Sam Shipley had nine kills and four aces and Hailey Bush had 13 digs," coach Teresa Williamson said of the overall solid effort.

Krysten Rose and Adalia Cajias each had three blocks as the Lady Cougars handled Riverbank in a sweep.

On the road Thursday, Oct. 11 for a pivotal contest with Ripon, it was another Escalon sweep.

"We played phenomenal, all the girls, it was definitely a team win," said Williamson. "We won it in three but it was great match, Ripon played well, we just minimized our errors and took control, each match."

Escalon won 25-19, 25-21, 25-22.

"Serving was the difference for us, and our setters (Nicole Bianchi and Taylor Laugero) also took control and worked all the hitters," Williamson added. "Our defense was phenomenal."

Cassidy Caton led the way defensively with 17 kills and 13 digs, Nicole Bianchi had 16 assists and four aces, Taylor Laugero had 14 assists and 15 digs. Sam Shipley contributed greatly with three blocks and 20 digs, and Hailey Bush had 11 digs.

"We just dug everything they gave us," said Williamson.

This week, the girls - still sitting on top of the TVL ‑ will host Hughson on Thursday, Oct. 18 in a 'Dig for a Cure' game, with the Escalon squads outfitted in pink shirts and socks to draw attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some special activities are also planned, with giveaways and recognition for cancer survivors and victims during the evening. All three levels will wear the special pink uniforms, with the freshmen kicking off the Thursday matches at 4:30 p.m., followed by JV at 5:30 pm. and varsity at 6:30 p.m.

Junior Varsity

Two more wins went on the books for the JV team, coached by Stephanie Williamson. They were victorious against Riverbank, 25-10, 25-17 and then took out Ripon as well.

"The win against Ripon makes us number one and the only undefeated JV team," Williamson said.

Against the Lady Indians, Escalon won in two, 25-18, 25-17.

"The girls played out of their minds," said the coach. "Leaders were Maddie Nicholas, Stacy Stewart and Brooke Silva."


League action, just one match against Ripon, went into the loss column for Escalon, falling 16-25, 23-25 to the host Lady Indians on Thursday.

"They knew it was an important match but we just kind of fell apart," said frosh coach Krystal Rodriguez. "We still had some good performances, Sarah Leal and Laura Brasil had good serves and Allison Rigg played very good defense."

The freshmen headed to the Oakdale Invitational on Saturday and found some redemption, starting out with pool play in the morning.

"You just play two games against each in pool play, we never let a team get more than 16 points on us, we played Manteca, Johansen and Edison and won all six games in the pool," said Rodriguez.

That seeded them first and allowed them to bypass bracket play, getting into the championship round. There, it was a single elimination format.

"We beat Pacheco 25-4, 25-11 in the first round," said Rodriguez. "Then we lost to Merced in three, 15-25, 25-16, 10-15 so we finished third overall."

Merced went on to win the invitational, topping Oakdale in the championship game.

Tournament standouts for Escalon were Josie Redberg with jump serves and Reily Rocha, notching some aces.

"It was a really good day, to take third behind Merced and Oakdale, I couldn't be happier with the outcome," Rodriguez said. "Our defense was good, our offense was good, our setters were phenomenal."