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Volleyball League Play Starts For Escalon Girls
Volley F esc
Freshman player Rylee Peavy, center, is a study in concentration during the frosh competition on the road Thursday in Oakdale. Watching the play develop are teammates Chloe Green, left, and Abigail Snyder, 40. Marg Jackson/The Times

A non-league match on the road at Oakdale proved successful for Escalon’s trio of volleyball squads.

The girls swept the host team, with wins for the Escalon freshman, JV and varsity squads. There was also some Trans-Valley League action for the girls, with one match for frosh and JV, two for the varsity.

Taking down a pair of league opponents, Escalon’s varsity girls were 25-14, 25-22, 25-19 winners over Hilmar and then swept past Modesto Christian, 25-2, 25-4, 25-5.

“We started the week off with our first league match against Hilmar. It was a little rough to start; however, they pulled themselves together and finished the match with a win in three sets,” said varsity head coach Teresa Williamson. “Emily Vickers led in kills with 13, with Gianna Bava getting seven kills and six aces. Claire Barkus led in blocks with three. Rylie Lattig had 13 digs and 31 assists.”

Standouts in the win over MC included Kendra Gwartney and Emily Vickers with eight aces each and Lattig with six.

Against Oakdale to close out the week with the non-league match, Escalon got a 3-1 win. They took the first and second sets, 25-15, 25-19 before Oakdale rallied for a 22-25 decision in the third. Escalon prevailed in the fourth, 25-22.

“This was a great match against Oakdale. Two great offensive teams and our defense stepped it up and played solid volleyball,” Williamson explained. “Faye Hernandez had 23 digs and Emily Vickers had 13. Gianna Bava and Lisa Murga both had five blocks each, Claire Barkus had three and Rylie Lattig and Mallory Berhorst had two each. Our defense was on fire.”

Lattig paced the offense with 47 assists.

“She spread the ball around with Emily Vickers getting 22 kills and Gianna Bava and Carsyn Hood both had 10 kills each, Lisa Murga and Claire Barkus getting two kills each,” added Williamson.

Emily Vickers had four aces and Rylie Lattig and Faye Hernandez both has two aces each.



Taking the court for their fist league game, the JV Lady Cougars defeated Hilmar to kick off the campaign.

“Going in, I had one defensive specialist that had gotten hurt the week prior but fortunately my other back row players stepped up in her absence,” head coach Shay Beam explained. “Libero Riley Ogilvie had six digs and Natalie Giuntoli had four. Middle blocker Marina Franzia had three aces and three kills.”

Also contributing in the win were Madyson Herrera, four aces, eight kills and five digs; Chloe Fraser, five kills; Karisa McNeil, 13 assists and three digs. Scores were 25-15, 25-19 in Escalon’s favor.

Thursday, they were at Oakdale and won in straight sets, 25-8, 25-17.

“It was a game full of strong serves which allowed us to pull away from Oakdale early on,” Beam said, with freshman middles Marissa Terry and Franzia each notching a couple of kills. “We are progressing nicely.”



Head coach Morgan Gomez said her young players took care of business this week. The girls defeated Hilmar 25-9 and 25-18 in league action, then swept Oakdale with scores of 25-19, 25-20.

“It has just been really exciting to not only win, but watch these players fight hard and pull out a win even when we get behind in points and start to doubt our abilities,” Gomez said. “This team definitely has a lot of fire and passion for the sport and watching them encourage each other during tough moments and focus on trying to control the game and strategize as a team is just really heartwarming and inspiring as their coach.”