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Volleyball Cougars Do Battle In Non-League Contests
In a busy week for Escalon's volleyball girls, the varsity squad went 1-2 in their matches but played some solid games, and continued their steady improvement as league play looms around the corner.

They kicked things off with the Foundation game to benefit the CIF scholarship program on Monday, Aug. 27 and lost in four games to a tough Buhach Colony squad, 25-23, 26-28, 23-25, 22-25.

"The girls played great, it was a battle of defenses for both teams," said head coach Teresa Williamson, noting that three of the four games were decided by two points, the final game in the set by just three.

"I wasn't disappointed at all, they gave a great effort."

Cassidy Caton had 16 kills and 23 digs while Nicole Bianchi dished out 21 assists. Adalia Cajias came up big with two blocks.

Against Central Catholic in their next match, the girls took a win in four, dropping the first game 23-25 before coming back to win the next three, 25-15, 25-13, 27-25 to put the match in the win column.

"We didn't have a real consistent game, but the girls pulled it out," Williamson said.

Caton had 20 kills, Bianchi notched 12 assists and Taylor Laugero contributed 11. Cajias and Caton each had two blocks and Cajias was huge from the service line, with nine aces on the night.

They closed out the week with a home match against the Pitman Pride and though the Lady Cougars lost in three, Williamson said the scores were not indicative of the battle her team gave the higher division opponent.

"The girls played phenomenal volleyball," Williamson said. "We're just seeing a lot more positives than negatives right now."

Scores were 20-25, 14-25, 18-25.

Caton again was near the top of the leaderboard with 13 kills and nine digs, Bianchi had nine digs and 10 assists, Laugero had 11 assists and two aces, with one block from Cajias.

After traveling to Oakdale for a non-league match on Tuesday, the girls will be busy later in the week, heading to the Golden Valley Tournament on Friday and Saturday.

"It was a very busy week for us and the girls played some really good teams," Williamson said, pleased with the squad's overall efforts.

At the JV and freshman level, the learning process continues for teams and their new coaches, with both squads splitting their contests. Each won against Central Catholic but then fell to Pitman, although Escalon pushed the Pride into a third game in each of the matches before falling 2-1. The JV team is scheduled to play Saturday, Sept. 8 in the Oakdale Invitational.