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Varsity, JV Volleyball Girls Post League Win
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With just one match on the schedule this week, and only the JV and varsity squads playing, the Lady Cougars grabbed victory on the road at Modesto Christian.

Host MC has no freshman team, so the youngest Lady Cougars were idle.

The JV girls, however, won in two games on the road, topping Modesto Christian 25-9, 25-13.

"We thought they were going to be tougher," admitted JV coach Stephanie Williamson. "They were missing some players, so they weren't as strong."

Williamson said though the games were fairly easy, she felt her team played well and kept up their intensity.

"What we did best, we handled the game offensively, we had 11 aces altogether, we kind of served them off the court," she explained.

Kylee Irwin-Paz had four aces, Maddie Nicholas had two aces, three kills and five digs.

Williamson said she likes the progress she is seeing on the court and feels confident that the volleyball program at Escalon will remain strong.

"We've got a lot of talent on the varsity and a lot coming up from the JV level," she said. "I feel pretty positive for the next few years."

The girls are scheduled to go to Ripon on Thursday and will look to defeat the Indians again, with the focus on defense this time.

"That's what's going to win," Williamson said.

For the varsity squad, it was also a one match week, but the girls had to battle against a determined Lady Crusaders squad.

"We won it in five," said varsity head coach Teresa Williamson.

Scores were 25-21, 25-23 to give Escalon a 2-0 advantage, but then they fell 14-25, 21-25 to set up the deciding fifth game. There, Escalon prevailed 15-12.

"We kind of got overconfident on game three and we just shut down," Williamson said. "Game four, we started getting some momentum back but we underestimated them, they have a very scrappy, 'don't quit' team."

Escalon was able to pull it together for the victory, though, to make it through the first half of league play undefeated.

"Offensively, Cassidy Caton and Adalia Cajias really stepped it up, and defensively, Nicole Bianchi, Cassidy and Taylor Laugero were digging balls."

Laugero had seven aces, with her serving providing some key points.

"Taylor also had 20 assists," noted Williamson.

Caton added 16 kills and 19 digs, Bianchi had 16 digs, with three blocks each from Cajias and Krysten Rose.

"They know they have to stay focused," Williamson said of her varsity girls. "They can't take a step back, they know this year the league is tougher and you have to play to win, not just show up."

Escalon's JV and varsity are 6-0 after the first half and were scheduled to host Riverbank to kick off the second half on Tuesday, after The Times went to press.

The freshmen, JV and varsity travel to Ripon for the Thursday games, starting at 4:30 p.m. when the freshmen take the court.

For the Thursday, Oct. 18 home game, when Escalon hosts Hughson, the teams will celebrate 'Dig for the Cure' for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The team will wear special shirts and pink socks, since pink is the color for breast cancer. There will be some special giveaways and the community is invited to come out to support the volleyball teams and help join in spreading the message about breast cancer awareness, as early detection is key for a cure.