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Volleyball Girls Play Solid In Winning Week
Kicking off the Trans-Valley League season with a victory, the Escalon varsity volleyball girls followed that up with a third place showing at the Oakdale Invitational Tournament on Saturday.

"We took third so I'm pretty happy," said coach Teresa Williamson of the Oakdale appearance.

Before that, though, the varsity team faced off with Riverbank for their first TVL match and swept the Lady Bruins, 25-8, 25-10, 25-12. Riverbank has proven to be a difficult squad for Escalon over the years, but Williamson said her team's focus made a difference this time out, as the Lady Cougars wasted no time in taking the contest in three.

"The girls played pretty solid all the way around," Williamson agreed. "There were not many errors and we were not really pushed at all."

Leaders were Shay Beam with 18 assists and two blocks, Megan Faria with nine kills, Nicole Bianchi with 21 digs and Cassidy Caton with two aces.

Saturday, Escalon started off in pool play with a trio of tough opponents at the invitational tourney.

"It was a different format, you played two games against everyone," Williamson explained of preliminary round action. "We beat Johansen in both, we beat Bret Harte in two and then we split with Pitman, 1-1, in what was a very, very good match."

Moving on into bracket play, the Lady Cougars had to face off with Bret Harte again and again took down the Bullfrogs by a 2-0 verdict.

"Then we faced Pitman and this time lost to them in three, but the girls played solid volleyball," Williamson said.

Shay Beam and Cassidy Caton were both selected for the All Tournament Team.

"They were picked by the coaches of the teams we played against," their coach pointed out.

Moving back into league play this week, the varsity girls were scheduled to face off with perennial power Ripon on Monday, Sept. 26 after The Times went to press and will be on the road at Orestimba for a game on Wednesday, Sept. 28. They will be back at home for a 7 p.m. contest on Monday, Oct. 3, hosting Hughson.