Winning at home but losing on the road was the formula this week for both the varsity and JV Lady Cougar volleyball girls.
Escalon hosted Riverbank in Trans-Valley League action and traveled to Ripon for another TVL match, splitting their contests.
Against Riverbank, the varsity Lady Cougars took care of business with a 25-14, 25-13, 25-10 win.
Leading the way were Mandy Murphy with 23 kills, Melanie Smith with two blocks, while Meadow Naraghi had six aces and Tess Cosby notched 17 digs.
At Ripon, it was a hard fought battle, Escalon just a few points behind the host Lady Indians throughout the night and ultimately falling by a 3-0 decision.
However, noted coach Teresa Williamson, the scores in all three were close, including a back and forth final set.
After taking a 22-25 loss in the first set, Escalon lost the next by a 21-25 decision. In the third set, the teams went a little longer, Ripon finally prevailing by a 27-29 score.
Hannah Boyd had 16 assists for Escalon on the night, with Murphy contributing 11 kills. Leila Phillips came up big with three blocks, Naraghi served four aces and Cosby had 10 digs.
The varsity girls close out the home season with Senior Night on Wednesday, Oct. 17 with recognition for seniors Meadow Naraghi and Leila Phillips before the game.
Hughson will be in town for the regular season finale; the freshmen are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., JV at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity at 6:30 p.m.
In junior varsity action this week, the girls mirrored their varsity counterparts, crafting a 2-0 win over Riverbank on the home court but then falling on the road in straight sets to Ripon.
It was a tough loss, said coach Krystal Rodriguez, with the team not able to put it all together against their rival.
“As a coach you want nothing more for these girls to succeed, both in books and in the game. This week we had Ripon and winning was a matter of holding a co-TVL Championship or taking second ... Ripon wanted it more for themselves than wanting to share the title with us,” Rodriguez explained of losing out on the chance to get a share of the TVL title.
Though her team did have some solid moments, Rodriguez said they have lost a little of the cohesiveness they showed in earlier action, especially the recent Stockton Tournament.
“That’s what’s the frustrating part is; you know how good these kids are and their true potential and they let the mental part (of the game) get ahead of themselves and take over,” Rodriguez noted. “With that said, they took us in two, 17-25 and 21-25.”
Despite the loss, the matches were close and the coach said there were some bright spots.
“Kailey Costa came back from her family trip and passed her serve receive defense like she hadn’t missed a practice. Dulce Jimenez played great coming off the bench; she didn’t expect to play but got a chance to change up tempo,” Rodriguez said. “Against Riverbank we played hard and decent. Serving was accurate and strong, plays were clean and communication could always be louder but we’re getting there. Koren Rodriguez led in digs and Madelyn Page and Gena Goodman held good serve receive. Kalynn Cavanaugh continues to improve at the net when staying focused. Cesi Rodriguez and Jamie Dutra, who led in aces, continue to improve their swing.”