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Varsity Lady Cougars Battling For Postseason Spot
Both games were on the road, with the varsity girls earning a split of their Trans-Valley League matches this past week.

They won on Tuesday, topping Modesto Christian, and pushed Ripon to four games before losing that match, 3-1.

"Modesto Christian has improved since the first time we played them and they took us to four games," said head coach Teresa Williamson of the Oct. 14 match. "We did pull it out and beat them. MC came to play, we weren't ready."

Escalon took a 25-19 win in game one, but Modesto Christian rallied for a 22-25 win in game two. It was then the Lady Cougars woke up, sending MC to defeat 25-5 in game three and then clinching the fourth and final game, 26-24, to win the match.

"In game three, I think Modesto Christian got overwhelmed from beating us and my girls got ticked off that they won ... we took charge," said Williamson. "Then it was a battle in game four, back and forth, but we got it."

Katie Aprile notched 16 assists on the night, with 21 digs and three aces from Lindsey Anderson. Kaitlyn Brayton had 16 kills and Kristi Rigg had three blocks.

Thursday, the girls faced off with league-leading Ripon, falling in a tough one, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 19-25.

"We really stuck with them, the first time they overwhelmed us but the girls played phenomenal, my defense was just nails," explained Williamson. "They (Ripon) had a little bit more stamina and a little bit more depth."

That's basically what it came down to; as the host Indians were able to outlast Escalon, though not necessarily outplay them.

"I think it opened their eyes to the talent they have on the team," Williamson said of what the match meant to her girls. "Granted, Ripon is a very talented team but so are we ... I really truly think they believe it now, they believe that they can beat some teams."

That mindset will be important as the girls continue the league season and head on into the playoffs.

Brayton had 16 kills against Ripon, Aprile had 24 digs, two aces and 21 assists and Rachel Leal added three big blocks in the effort.

The girls were slated to host Ripon Christian on Tuesday, after The Times went to press. They are at Hughson on Thursday, then go to Riverbank on Tuesday, Oct. 28. Regular season action wraps up with a pair of home games, as the Lady Cougars host Modesto Christian on Wednesday, Oct. 29 and Ripon on Tuesday, Nov. 4.