A tough week for the varsity volleyball girls saw them take a loss in their final preseason game and then fall on the road to start the Trans-Valley League campaign.
The squad played at Ripon Christian on Monday, Sept. 9 and lost 3-1. Scores were 21-25, 17-25, 27-25, 18-25 in a very tough, competitive match.
“Hannah Boyd had 25 assists, Mandy Murphy had 18 kills,” said head coach Teresa Williamson. “Emily Vickers had 11 kills, Tess Cosby 21 digs, Mya Scott and Mandy Murphy had one block each.”
From there, the girls were back on the road, traveling to Hilmar for the league opener on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The Lady Yellowjackets remain one of the toughest teams in the league, and swept past the visiting Lady Cougars 3-0.
Escalon fell 19-25, 12-25, 13-25. Boyd had 19 assists on the night with Murphy notching nine kills. Cosby had 13 digs and three aces.
“We struggled this week,” Williamson admitted. “We will bounce back next time we see Hilmar.”
It was a 2-0 win for the JV volleyball girls in their final pre-season matching, defeating Ripon Christian on Monday, Sept. 9. They defeated the host team 25-19, 25-15, a good tune-up for the start of Trans-Valley League action.
The JV girls then faced off with Hilmar on Wednesday, Sept. 11, going on the road to face their TVL foe. Coach Krystal Rodriguez said the team was able to battle to a 2-1 road victory
Hilmar won the first set, 25-15, but Escalon came back strong to win the next two, 25-22 and 25-13.
“Amazing game,” said Rodriguez. “The best we’ve played to date.”
Leaders were team captains Haylee Barajas with 28 assists and Grace Ferreira with 11 kills.
“These two are the best duo of captains I think I’ve ever had,” the coach noted. “They both work hard and show it on the court. They have a lot of passion for the game and their girls, and they all respond very well with each other.”
Matty Bollen and Sabrina Villa were strong in the back row, along with Ferreira, while Barajas had four aces and Emily Middleton had two. Valeria Gonzalez, Marissa Silva and Isabella Jaime each had a block.
“It was an amazing game that felt like went on forever but they stuck with it,” Rodriguez said. “We all really wanted that win, including me. They felt my energy and ran with it.”
Rodriguez also said all players had the chance to take the court against Ripon Christian and did well, contributing to the non-league win.
The youngest of the Lady Cougars played at Hilmar on Wednesday, opening up their Trans-Valley League schedule.
“We won set one 25-22 and set two 25-22,” coach Nicole Bianchi said of the sweep. “Ali Pence and Gianna Bava led in kills with five kills each and Carsyn Hood led in serving with seven aces across the two sets.”
The coach noted that her “team really came alive in the second set” and started with a huge lead, however, Hilmar fought back to close that lead, displaying their competitiveness.
“In the end, the girls were able to finish the set strong. Altogether the team played very strong and worked very hard together on and off the court,” Bianchi said. “It was a great win to take home.”