By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Volleyball boys nail down win, tennis team on a roll
V melo 327
Escalon’s Aydun Melo digs out the serve in a recent home game; the Cougar varsity volleyball boys were on the road to start Trans-Valley League play, defeating Hilmar 3-0 on March 21. Marg Jackson/The Times

It was a successful week for Escalon’s volleyball and tennis teams, though it was a rough go for the young golf team on the links. Here is a look at the recent action for the squads in Trans-Valley League action.



The first-year Escalon varsity volleyball boys headed to Hilmar for a Trans-Valley Legue battle on Thursday night, March 21. Escalon came away with the sweep, winning in three, 25-16, 25-20, 25-18.

This was the first TVL game of the season for the Cougars, said head coach Shay Beam.

“Since we had a lot of practice time this week, we were able to work on running a quicker offense,” she said of several days of practice leading up to the Thursday night contest.

That extra time on the court paid off, as the boys opened up TVL with the win.

Mikie Lourenco had nine kills while middle Preston Berhorst added seven, Carson Medina and Frank Barrera each had three.

“Ben Ferreira had two aces, 20 assists and nine digs,” Beam said of a strong effort by the sophomore. “Libero Aydun Melo also tacked on 18 digs to help us get our first league win.”

The varsity team will be home to host Riverbank in TVL play with a 6 p.m. start on Thursday, March 28.

For the JV boys, they took a loss in two, 21-25, 21-25.

“We fought hard but ultimately just made too many mistakes,” said head coach Nicole Biachi.

Leading the team were Noah Martin with four kills, K’Oz Castro with 14 digs and Christian Ramirez with seven assists.



A pair of Trans-Valley League wins went on the books this week for the tennis team. They were at Ripon for a match on Thursday, March 21 and defeated the host Indians, 6-3.

Winners were Kali Castellanos at number one girls, 6-4, 6-2; Marina Franzia at number two girls, 6-1-, 6-3. In doubles play, four Escalon teams were victorious. Those included Daniel Adams and Luca Cerasi at boys number one doubles, 6-1, 6-4; Paloma Lara and Emma Rangel at number one girls doubles, 6-2, 6-4; girls number two doubles Carolina Sandoval and Ashlyn Paxman, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4; and mixed doubles Maddox Neilson and Violet Da Silva, 6-3, 6-1.

Hosting undefeated Hughson on Friday, March 22, head coach Julianne Eavenson said both teams came in at 4-0; Escalon ended the day at 5-0 while Hughson dropped to 4-1.

It was another 6-3 win for the Cougars. Nathan Rose took a 6-1, 6-3 win at number two boys singles with both Castellanos and Franzia getting wins in girls singles play. Number one Castellanos won 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 and number two Franzia won in three, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2. Doubles play saw Adams and Cerasi at boys number one doubles win 6-1, 6-4; while the number two pairing of Cooper Fugett and Logan Wentzell won 6-1, 6-0. Mixed doubles Da Silva and Neilson took a win by forfeit.

“This was a huge win for our team,” Eavenson said of defeating Hughson. “First half of the season being undefeated is great and we are really looking forward to the second half and hopefully continuing our winning streak. All of the kids contribute to our success and we really wouldn’t be here without all of their hard work.”

The coach added that the 5-0 start in league is especially satisfying, after a rough preseason campaign for the team.

“Daniel Adams and Luca Cerasi are undefeated so far, they come out and put the hard work in and play to win each time, very amazing to see as their coach,” Eavenson said. “Violet Da Silva and Maddox Neilson are two freshmen who are also undefeated. Both bring their own special talent to their doubles team and work so well with each other; we are definitely excited to see them grow and get better throughout the season.”



Head coach Brandon Hoover reported that the golf boys hosted the second of the TVL tournaments, at their home course of Oakdale Golf and Country Club this past week. They didn’t have as good a performance as in the first TVL tourney, this time taking fifth place out of six teams.

“Brenden Berchtold shot a 110, Noah Ghiglieri shot a 126,” Hoover said. “We’re very young. We’re at Rancho del Ray in Atwater on Wednesday (March 27). It will be our third league tournament of the season.”

Tennis pix 327
In action as the number two boys singles player, Nathan Rose took the court on Friday, March 22 against a Hughson opponent. Escalon took the TVL tennis win, improving to 5-0. Photo Contributed