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Varsity Netters Dig Winning Streak
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Even the coach said it's getting redundant.

Escalon's varsity volleyball girls put away two more Trans-Valley League foes this week, shutting down Hughson and Patterson to improve to 4-0 in league play, paced by the leadership of Chelsea Fachner.

At Escalon on Tuesday, Sept. 28, the girls were winners in three over the Huskies, 25-23, 25-10, 25-14.

"Chelsea seems to be taking on the load as far as kills go, she had nine and she had 17 digs," said coach Rusty Fachner. "Ashley Brown had 14 digs, Jenna Martin had 20."

Fachner said though they took the win in three games, his team did come out slowly.

"That first game, we fell asleep," he said. "We were ahead 23-18 and they tied it at 23-all, that woke us up and in the next two games, we just took Hughson out of it."

Michelle Williams got high marks for her consistent play on Tuesday and Michele Barajas put together her best game of the season so far.

"She had nine digs and just hustled defensively," Fachner noted. "It was a typical Escalon game, we just play defense, keep the ball coming back."

Megan Warren also played outstanding, turning in an aggressive performance against Hughson.

"Our serving has been solid all year long and this was just a good team win," Fachner explained.

Allee Merseth and Brittany Rigg both came in off the bench and made contributions, while Emily Alves was solid in the back row.

On the road Thursday at Patterson, the Lady Cougars had to contend with the Tiger gym, always a tough place to play.

"Patterson plays better at home and there's just something about that gym that makes it a difficult place to play," said Fachner.

Putting that behind them, however, the varsity squad walked off with the 25-9, 25-11, 25-21 victory.

"Michelle Williams was out ill but Laken Naraghi came in and played magnificently in the middle back," explained Fachner. "She had four aces and 11 digs."

Chelsea Fachner had 12 kills, Brown and Martin added 10 digs each. Steph Williamson notched 14 assists with one block from Megan Warren and three aces from Naraghi.

"We controlled the match, we got sloppy a bit in the third game but overall, it was a very pleasing week," Fachner said.

The coach gave special recognition to his setters, Barajas and Williamson, for being the unsung heroes, those who set up the play for the kill.

"It's a luxury to have two really good setters," he said.

The varsity girls host Riverbank on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. and then will be home against Ripon on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

"I think it's going to be a barn burner," Fachner said of the Oct. 12 match, anticipating a back-and-forth battle. "We have two matches to get through first but I think we're more prepared this year to face a team like Ripon, my advice would be to get there early, people have already circled it on their calendar."