ESCALON — What was billed as a showdown between the two premier girls volleyball teams in the area Monday night did not disappoint, as Escalon battled back from a 23-25 first-set loss to Sierra and went on to sweep the next three games 25-19, 25-11, 27-25 in a non-league match to remain undefeated this season and hand the Timberwolves just their second loss.
“We definitely came ready to play,” Sierra coach Kim Brooks said. “It was a very big challenge facing a team that was as consistent all the way around as they were.
“But our girls are fighters and they will fight until the end.”
With the exception of the runaway third set when the Cougars (21-0) jumped out to an 11-1 lead, the biggest lead either team could muster was a scant four points. The first set was tied at 23-23 when Zoe Kossart (20 kills, 12 digs) blasted a kill for the Timberwolves (17-2) to set up game point. Becca Thomson (31 assists, 15 digs, three kills) deftly placed the ensuing serve just over the net where all Escalon could do was tip the ball back over the net where Kossart was waiting. She slammed the ball into the floor to give Sierra the set.
Needing a win in the fourth game to force a fifth, the Timberwolves battled back from a 23-24 match point for Escalon to almost get it done. Sophia Threet (three kills) blasted a kill to tie the set at 24-24 and then the Cougars hit the ball out to put Sierra ahead 25-24. But an Escalon kill, a wide Sierra shot followed by another Cougars kill gave Escalon the match.
Cougars coach Teresa Williamson acknowledged her team got off to a slow start.
“We lost our composure on that first set and they capitalized on it,” Williamson said. “We knew coming in that both teams were equally balanced.
“I’m glad we were able to turn it around and capitalize on the remaining sets.”
Jenna Dalen posted 26 digs for the Timberwolves. Sophia Marian added 16 kills and three blocks with Elaina Threet and (six blocks) and Alex Chapman adding seven kills apiece.
Sierra 2, Escalon 1
Amaya Maciel posted five kills and five aces for in a 25-21, 25-22 sweep for the Timberwolves.
Sierra’s Cianna Leonardo added seven assists, two aces and a kill and Meegan Azevedo tallied four kills.
Escalon 2, Sierra 1
The Timberwolves won the first set 25-23 before the Cougars rebounded to win the match with 25-14, 15-11 wins in the next two sets
Danica Cesante led the Sierra attack with two aces, eight assists and a dig followed by Ashley De Belen (three kills, two digs), Ashleen Deol (ace, two kills, two tips) and Maitland Kohoutek (two kills, tip).