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Season sweep complete for Hilmar volley over Escalon
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The Hilmar Yellowjackets varsity volleyball team celebrate after defeating Escalon on Monday, 3-0, to secure their eighth straight league victory of the season (EDDIE RUIZ).

The Hilmar High varsity volleyball team continued their domination in the Trans Valley League, winning their 23th straight league game and a season sweep victory over the Escalon High Cougars, 3-0, on Monday.

“We had Ripon and Escalon back to back and those are two tough ones,” said Hilmar head coach Patti Harris. “Every team is improved. Middle of the season and you don’t know what happens in the second round of the season, everyone gets better, there is always a different thing.”

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Emma Martin of Hilmar High gets ready to toss one of her 36 assists from Monday’s 3-0 win over Escalon (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

“We are so blessed; we have such a good team and we gel so well,” said Hilmar sophomore Mikela Labno, who finished with a team-high 14 kills.

Hilmar’s current record stands at 20-11 overall and 8-0 in the TVL. The win also marked the Yellowjackets’ sixth straight victory of the season.

“We just go into every game concentrating on what we can and we play our game,” said Harris. “We try not to look forward and do our thing and take it one game at a time.”

They took it one point at a time on Monday.

The first set saw Hilmar jump out to a 5-1 lead and they never trailed after that, eventually winning the first 25-14.

Escalon came out ready to battle in the second set and the two began to exchange points.  The Cougars managed to tie it at 18-18, which then forced Hilmar to take an immediate timeout.

Hilmar closed out the set with a 7-4 run, winning it 25-22 and carrying that late momentum into the next set.

The third saw the biggest point difference.

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Makayla Fontes of Hilmar gets a dig during Monday’s 3-0 win over Escalon (EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal).

Hilmar came out on fire and never trailed, winning 25-13.

“We started off really slow in the second, so we need to start off quicker,” said Labno. “Definitely our strong defense has helped us, because without our strong defense we wouldn’t be able to get a set or kill, so tons of credit to our defense.”

Emma Martin added a game-high 36 assists.

Michaela Petersen had three aces, Olivia Peterson tallied three blocks and Julia Gonsalves had a team-high 23 digs.

“I think we didn’t play our best tonight, but we didn’t play our worse,” said Martin. “I think we played our best game against Ripon last week, but I think Labno is doing really good and Liv and my back row is killing it so there is not much we can’t do.”

Hilmar’s next game will be on the road at Hughson High at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“We are definitely the team to beat in the TVL but we don’t take any team for granted, we just focus on what game we are playing now and never play down to the next opponent,” Martin added.