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Sierra slides past Buffaloes in three

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Manteca High's Jessica Reeder and Sierra's Allison Armstrong meet each other at the top of the net during VOL action Thursday.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED October 22, 2010 3:07 a.m.
It was only appropriate that Sierra High’s Alysia Atkins closed off the Manteca Buffaloes’ hopes to win an emphatic smash, sending the Timberwolves off with a 3-0 win over Manteca Thursday in Valley Oak League play.

Sierra (4-7 VOL, 9-7 overall) saw itself trailing in two of the three contests, but would only let Manteca hold a lead and never a victory. Each time Manteca asserted themselves, Sierra responded and pulled back ahead of the Buffaloes.

Manteca squandered an 8-1 lead in the second game and an 18-10 cushion in the finale. Sierra head coach Trinity Johnson called a timeout with the first deficit and Sierra promptly responded by scoring the 10 of the next 12 points.

“I don’t think I can say what I said during that timeout,” Johnson admitted. “I told them to pick it up and act like they wanted to be here. If they didn’t want to be on the court they could walk off because I have more than enough fresh girls ready to go in.

“I wanted them to play like they wanted to beat them.”

Manteca surely seemed up for that challenge, fighting back in the first game from a double-digit deficit, before coming short after scoring their 21st point. The Buffaloes opened game two riding high and capitalizing on each of the Timberwolves’ mistakes. However, when it came time to take control of the match, Manteca was unable to complete the task.

“We had a lead that whole game, it came down to making a couple of mistakes here and there,” Manteca head coach Tim Horning said. “We pushed to tie it up there at the end, and I told the ladies that if we could tie it up it would change the game.

“I thought we had the momentum in that third game, but it just didn’t fall for us.”

Atkins’ play was clearly the difference for the Timberwolves, each time Sierra needed a point, a block, a dig, or a stop the senior captain was there to assist the cause. She closed out both of Sierra’s final two wins with huge plays to break the Buffaloes’ confidence.

“It was a big win for us because we have really been off of our game lately,” Atkins said. “Our team is just now starting to come together.

“We play well when we keep it positive; we just have to know that line of being serious and having fun.”

Atkins led Sierra with 12 kills, 17 digs and three aces. Chelsea Bereta added five kills and 11 digs in the win. Sierra also got three aces from Sarah Konecny. Myklyn Balmut’s eight kills led Manteca and Dallas Mould’s seven was second. Abigail Rosas provided 23 digs and Tara Dadasovich finished with 13 assists and four aces.

The Buffaloes will be back on the court Tuesday when they travel to Sonora, and Sierra will make the trip to Stockton to take on the Weston Ranch Cougars.

Sierra 2, Manteca 0
The Buffaloes battled, but they were stopped in two 25-22 and 25-20 Tuesday against Sierra.

Manteca (4-7) were led by Samantha Morris’ nine assists and four aces, while teammates Julia Martinez and Jasmine Odell both chipped in with three kills.

Manteca will take on Sonora in its next match, while Sierra will travel to play the Weston Ranch Cougars.
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