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Varsity, JV Volleyball Girls Win One, Lose One
Putting away Riverbank on Monday, the Escalon varsity Lady Cougars still could not solve Ripon and ended up with a 1-1 mark in Trans-Valley League play this week.

The girls hosted Riverbank and took relatively easy 25-6, 25-13, 25-5 wins off the court.

"This was a pretty uneventful game," agreed coach Teresa Williamson.

Cassidy Caton had six kills, with Neomai Niu notching two blocks. Shaylynn Beam and Megan Faria each had four aces and Beam added 17 assists. Nicole Bianchi had 22 digs and foreign exchange student Marouschka Acquoij had two kills.

"Against Ripon, the girls fought hard and the frustrating thing for me, and they feel it too, is that we were leading in games one and two and couldn't put them away," said Williamson.

Scores in the 3-0 loss for Escalon were 23-25, 27-29, 17-25. Ripon is the only team in league that has beaten Escalon, with the Lady Cougars solidly in second place and likely in line to open up the playoffs at home.

"Megan Faria had a great night, she and Shaylynn and Casey Schmidig played well," Williamson said of top efforts in the loss.

Faria had 10 kills, Schmidig had seven kills and 17 digs, with 28 assists and two blocks from Beam. Niu had two blocks, Bianchi added 34 digs.

Escalon's JV volleyball girls split their contests this week as well, getting past a determined Riverbank squad on Monday, Oct. 18.

"They have a very scrappy defense," noted coach Kayla Kootstra. "We just could not put the ball away."

The early difficulties in finishing saw Riverbank take a 25-27 win in game one over the host JV Lady Cougars. But Kootstra's squad rebounded with solid efforts to take the next two, winning the match 2-1.

"In games two and three they served and passed better," Kootstra explained of her girls. "We got Riverbank off their game."

Escalon won the final two games, 25-14, 15-12.

High marks in the match went to Sam Shipley for her overall play and Adalia Cajias for some outstanding serving.

On Wednesday, the girls battled with Ripon and, like their varsity counterparts, were still unable to stop the Lady Indians, falling 24-26, 14-25.

"The first game I really thought that we had them," Kootstra said, but the JV girls didn't have quite enough to finish. Ripon's serving was tough for them to handle, said the coach, and the Indians' setter played an outstanding game as well.

For Escalon, middle blockers Kaitlin DaDalt and Cajias played very well and Hailey Bush had a strong defensive game, with three kills also provided by Cajias. The freshmen, with coach Niki Hoover, took on Ripon and lost to the young but powerful Lady Indians. Riverbank doesn't have a frosh squad but the girls will be in action on the home court Wednesday, Oct. 27 when all three teams face Hughson. The frosh girls kick it off with their match starting at 4:30 p.m.