After a loss in the Foundation Game on the road at Calaveras on Aug. 20, the Escalon varsity volleyball girls came back home for a pair of non-league matches. They fell to St. Mary’s on Aug. 22 and then regrouped, coming back with a solid effort and a 3-0 win over Ripon Christian on Aug. 23.
Starting out the week in the Foundation competition, the Escalon varsity squad fell 3-2 to Calaveras with scores of 25-16, 15-25, 19-25, 25-16 and 13-15.
Hannah Boyd paced the team with 37 assists while Melanie Smith had 12 kills and three blocks. Tess Cosby added 17 digs on the night.
“We played hard but we just made too many errors,” said coach Teresa Williamson.
Hosting St. Mary’s on Wednesday, Aug. 22, the squad was shut out but all three games were close, the Lady Cougars going down 20-25, 23-25, 22-25.
“We played good ball and kept with St. Mary’s but just couldn’t close out a win,” noted the coach. “I was very proud of the girls and the heart they played with.”
Mandy Murphy had a big night with 11 kills and two aces, Boyd added 17 assists. Leila Phillips and Sage Davis had two blocks apiece. Cosby was busy during the match as well, with 11 digs and two aces.
In the second night of back-to-back matches, the girls hosted Ripon Christian on Thursday night, Aug. 23 and came away with a satisfying 3-0 shutout.
“Coming off a tough loss against St. Mary’s my girls came out ready to play,” Williamson said.
They rolled Ripon Christian in a 25-7 game one, then battled the visitors in games two and three but took them both, 25-15, 25-20.
“We played flawless volleyball in game one and continued to play great in games two and three,” added Williamson.
Boyd notched 22 assists in the contest while 14 kills each were recorded by Murphy and Smith. Smith led the team in blocks with six and Cosby had three aces.
Hosting St. Mary’s on Wednesday, the JV Lady Cougars fell in 21-25, 18-25 fashion.
“Madi Faria served eight attempts and had two aces, Koren Rodriguez had three kills at left front and Kailey Costa notched eight digs,” said coach Krystal Rodriguez.
Much like their varsity counterparts, the JV girls returned to the court the next night and got a win, shutting out Ripon Christian 25-21, 25-18.
“Koren and Kailey both shared 13 digs apiece and the whole team has done much better at missing less serves during a full match,” Rodriguez explained. “They’ve gone from missing 12 in the beginning of the season to only missing four, which says a lot. I predict that number to be even lower not because they’re good servers but because they have the fighting spirit and potential to be great.”
Getting a split of the contests made for a decent week, said the coach, especially with the squad coming together for a strong effort on Thursday.
“We try and learn every time they take the court. Whether they’re playing or not they need to be taking something in from the match either in their own position or in someone else’s,” Rodriguez said. “Each game they play they’re getting a little bit better at knowing how each and every one works on and off the court. This week we’ll be working more on finishing the play and winning the point.”
Information regarding the freshman game against St. Mary’s was not available at press time.
This week, the teams will play on the road, going to Tokay on Thursday, Aug. 30 and then to Linden on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Trans-Valley League action for the squads starts with a home game on Wednesday, Sept. 5 hosting Hilmar. Freshmen start off the matches at 4:30 p.m., with JV at 5:30 p.m. and varsity at 6:30 p.m.